Cristiano Ronaldo has credited his former manager Sir Alex Ferguson for transforming him into the World Player of the Year.
Portuguese winger Ronaldo has ended a six-year association with Manchester United to fulfil a boyhood dream of playing for Real Madrid.
He joined United as a teenager in 2003 from Sporting Lisbon and overcame accusations of being a diver and too selfish to play a key role in the club's recent successes.
Ronaldo admits that he would not have been in a position to achieve such honours without the help and guidance of United boss Ferguson.
"Ferguson is a maestro," Ronaldo told AS. "For me he was my father in football.
"He was crucial in my career and, outside football, was a great human being with me.
"Talent isn't everything. You can have it from the cradle, but it is necessary to learn the trade to be the best.
"When I arrived in England I was an 18-year-old kid and had established stars by my side.
"Ferguson taught me to clean up my faults, to know to give the pass at the last moment, to take the right decision in the area.
"I spent six years at United and I owe them everything that I am today. I made history at United and won many trophies.
"It was a pleasure to play at Old Trafford, but now a new stage in my life is beginning at the Bernabeu with new challenges."
Less egotistical Ronaldo is also confident that Real, who paid a world record fee for the 24-year-old, have signed a team player.
"It's obvious that I'm a less egotistical footballer now," he added. "Without a doubt.
"I know for sure that four years ago I always played to try to end up scoring myself.
"But experience makes you understand that you achieve better things playing as a team and being united. At Madrid they will see a better Cristiano."