Cristiano Ronaldo: Manchester United are improving but have work to do
Cristiano Ronaldo believes Manchester United are "better" this season, but "still have work to do" to reach the heights when he was at the heartbeat of the side.
Former United midfielder Paul Scholes, who won 11 league titles during a glittering career at Old Trafford, has become disenchanted with the team's style of play under Louis Van Gaal.
The England international renewed his attack on Van Gaal on Tuesday night, claiming United - who laboured to a 1-0 win over CSKA Moscow in the Champions League - were now ''boring'' to watch.
Ronaldo joined United from Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon for £12.2m in 2003, scoring 188 goals for the club in 292 appearances as Sir Alex Ferguson's men dominated the Barclays Premier League and also reached the Champions League final.
The 30-year-old Portuguese forward, who left for Real Madrid for £80m in 2009, told the BBC he could see signs of improvement this season, if not yet hitting the heights of previous Red Devils' teams.
"For me it's hard to see that because it's a club that I love. Of course I want to see Manchester United at the level that it was in the past. Like, for example, Sporting Lisbon was my first professional club," Ronaldo said in an interview with Football Focus.
"I like to see the clubs that I like at the top and I think Manchester this season is better, but I think they still have work to do to be at the level of six, seven years ago."
Ronaldo has been linked with a move to both Paris St Germain and back to Old Trafford when he eventually decides to leave Real Madrid, where he is under contract until 2018.
The three-time FIFA World Footballer of the Year remains non-committal on where his next destination will be.
Asked about the possibility of one day returning to United, Ronaldo told the BBC: "As I say many, many times, the future nobody knows. At this moment I am so glad and happy here in Real Madrid, but the future nobody knows.
"I will say this answer all the time because the future nobody knows, but I'm good here. I still have a contact with Real Madrid and I am happy here."
Ronaldo is now Real's leading goalscorer in the history of the Spanish club, with a career record of 504 goals in 760 appearances.
The 30-year-old believes he has to continue to work hard.
"To improve more, it is very tough, I just want to maintain because this is I think the most difficult part for a football player," he said.
"In my mind, I am always the best. I don't care what people think, what they say. In my mind, not just this year, but always, I am always the best."
Ronaldo is often compared to Barcelona's Argentina forward Lionel Messi.
"It is opinions, I respect the opinions," he said.
"Maybe in your opinion Messi is better than me, but in my mind I am better than him, so it is simple."