Former Man Utd midfielder Anderson claims he “could have been among the best in the world” if he’d changed his mentality during his career.
The Brazilian scored nine goals in 181 appearances for the Red Devils over his eight seasons at the club but the former Porto man failed to become a regular starter during his time in Manchester.
Anderson did help Man Utd win four Premier League titles, a League Cup and a Champions League but he didn’t reach the potential he knew he had.
“If I had had 5% of the mentality of Cristiano Ronaldo, I could have been among the best in the world,” Anderson told Spanish publication Sport.
“I assume it now. I had talent, quality. With a little more head… I had a nice career because I won many things, but I could have gone much further. You have to be honest. With 5% of Cristiano… I would still play at the first level now, easily.”
On whether he regrets any of the decisions he made in his career, former Man Utd midfielder Anderson added: “I regret not having been a little professional, of not having listened to the people who recommended me and spoke to me. Rafael tells the truth, I can’t be a hypocrite.
“If I had been more focused on football… I had plenty of quality. My head didn’t help. Over time you realise things. Football has changed, before it was more difficult, now it’s easy. Things change, today any very physical player who knows how to run a lot is worth it. He doesn’t have to think as much.”
Anderson isn’t the first person to say that he could’ve been one of the best players in the world if he’d reached his potential with former Man Utd team-mates Ben Foster and Rafael agreeing.
Foster told the UTD Podcast last March: “He could have been the best player in the world at one point, I promise you he could have. Everybody would say that he could have been the best in the world at one point.
“But he just didn’t care, he didn’t care about anything. Honestly, he didn’t care about anything. But you put him on a pitch and he was like that.
“Carlos Tevez was the same sort of thing. Put him on the pitch and oh my god. There has got to be something in being South American, there’s got to be something in that.”
Speaking in his joint autobiography with his brother Fabio, The Sunshine Kids, former Man Utd defender Rafael said: “I will say something about Anderson – if he had been a professional football player, he could have been the best in the world. I’m saying this was all seriousness. I don’t know if he ever took anything seriously.
“He just loved life in such an easy and casual way. In some ways that was a quality. It was what made him so popular and one of the most popular players at the club. But he would just eat whatever was put in front of him.”