With Germany set to face Portugal on Saturday in their opening UEFA EURO 2012 match, German star Mesut Ozil has poured praise on his Real Madrid team-mate and Portuguese captain Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo will lead Portugal at Lviv, Ukraine, on Saturday in their first Group B match against Ozil's Germany with the two Real star midfielders set to go head-to-head and the German insists Ronaldo is 'simply a nice guy'.
"He is for me an extraordinary player, in every way," Ozil wrote in his column for German daily Die Welt online having joined Real after the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa.
He acts as an example for the rest of the squad and now I know that he is simply a nice guy.
"When I arrived at Real Madrid almost two years ago, I felt he really took care of me. "He's not a loner, actually he gives a lot for the whole team. "He acts as an example for the rest of the squad and now I know that he is simply a nice guy."
Ozil says Ronaldo shows his deep desire to win even in training with Real. "Although so much has been written about his private life, I can say with absolute conviction that he is a thorough professional," said Ozil.
"He is focused very strongly on the sport and invests a lot in his personal fitness," he added. "I do not begrudge him any victory - except on Saturday, of course."