England international Rio Ferdinand has hailed Manchester United team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo as Europe’s number one player.

Ronaldo’s brilliant form for the Red Devils this term has already seen him emerge as favourite for both the PFA and the Football Writers’ Player of the Year awards.

However, Ferdinand, who featured alongside the Portuguese yesterday as United maintained their six-point Premiership lead over Chelsea, does not believe the accolades should end there.

“Cristiano has certainly been the best player in Europe,” Ferdinand told Inside United.

“There is no doubt in my mind he will win both domestic awards, but I think he will clean up on the awards front – including the European prizes.

“No-one has produced the kind of football he has produced on a regular basis and there is no other player as exciting as him.

“Ronaldinho hasn’t done it and Samuel Eto’o has been injured a lot.

“Didier Drogba has been very good for Chelsea but I don’t think he gets you off your seat like Cristiano does and I don’t think as many people would pay to watch him.”

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