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Sir Alex Ferguson has predicetd Cristiano Ronaldo will become the best player in the world after the Portuguese winger collected the Football Writers’ Association award as player of the season.

Earlier this week Ronaldo was named the United fans’ and players’ player of the year which came on the back of him winning awards – player and young player – from the Professional Footballers’ Association.

United boss Ferguson, who bought Ronaldo from Sporting Lisbon for £12m in 2003, believes the player will go on to establish himself as the world’s finest player.

Ferguson said: “He’s got great quality. I hope he goes on to develop himself to be established as the best footballer in the world.

“To do it for a long time is another challenge for the boy and I think he will do that.”

Ronaldo’s season has been all the more remarkable given the opprobrium he receieved for his part in Wayne Rooney’s dismissal in last summer’s World Cup quarter-final when England lost to Portugal on penalties.

Ronaldo said at the FWA dinner: “It’s a big honour, I’m very happy for this.”

“When someone speaks wrong about you, you want to show this is not right. This is what I’ve tried to do,” he told Sky Sports News.

“I’ve tried to play well. I’ve tried to help the team. This is what’s happened this season.

“I think I’m more consistent, more mature, and I’m very happy for this.

“I’m not saying the people spoke badly about me before because I see the newspapers.

“This is fantastic for me to receive this trophy from journalists, it’s amazing.”

Ronaldo will line up for United in Saturday’s FA Cup final against Chelsea, with Sir Alex Ferguson’s side looking to set the seal on a marvellous season by completing a domestic double.

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