The Portuguese praised the growing maturity of his compatriot in eradicating the tantrums he would once throw when things weren’t going his way on the pitch
The 29-year-old is the favourite to win the trophy for a third time in January on the back of another sensational year for Real Madrid during which he lifted the Champions League and Copa del Rey.
But Ronaldo has often been criticised for his child-like tantrums in response to refereeing decisions that haven’t gone his way and when team-mates have failed to find him on the pitch.
Villas-Boas, however, has noted a marked improvement in his compatriot’s behaviour and praised his growing maturity after being asked whether he thought the Madrid forward would be crowned the world’s best player.
The Zenit St Petersburg boss told TVI and Maisfutebol: “He even changed his body language on the field and that supports him further still, both as a player and as a sports personality.
“In the last two years, I have seen in Cristiano Ronaldo a change of attitude and an incredible dedication to his profession, an impressive will to win, even if his value has been questioned due to the quality of his closest rival (Messi).”
The Portugal captain has scored a remarkable 34 goals in just 26 appearances this season and could add another piece of silverware to his trophy cabinet as Madrid contest the Club World Cup.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side beat Cruz Azul 4-0 on Tuesday night, securing their place in the final of the competition, where they will face either ES Setif or Western Sydney Wanderers.