Rio wrote in a column for ManUtd.com: “He went through a lot last summer after the World Cup. When difficult circumstances arise you are able to gauge a person’s personality and see how they react. The best players respond in adverse situations by putting in good performances and that’s what Ronny has done.
“The fact that he’s come back and performed to a consistently high level throughout the season demands a lot of respect and all the plaudits that have been showered on him are well deserved.
“I actually think he’ll clean up on the awards front including the European prizes. He’s certainly been the best player in Europe in my opinion. No-one else has produced the kind of football he’s produced on a regular basis this season 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 Ronaldo does. That’s no disrespect to Drogba but he’s a different type of player to Ronny and I don’t think as many people would pay to watch him as they would Ronaldo.”