‘To use negative people and experiences to motivate you. I actually need my haters – they have helped me achieve all I have achieved. There is a big mutual respect between myself and Lionel Messi. The media like to make out like we have this big rivalry, but we don’t. It is not like we are good friends, but there is a mutual respect on both sides.’
‘Over the years I had some great battles with Ashley Cole – he doesn’t give you a second to breathe. He was such a tenacious player, quick, tough in the tackle – when he was at his peak. You knew it would never be an easy game.’
‘I do see Sir Alex Ferguson as a father figure. All my coaches have been important, but when I arrived at Real Madrid I was a man, when I arrived at Manchester United I was a boy. All of a sudden you are at one of the biggest clubs in the world, and at that time I needed somebody like Sir Alex.