Cristiano Ronaldo only recently signed a new 5-year-deal at Real Madrid that saw him maintain his status as the highest paid sportsman in the world, with the 31-year-old raking in £40million a year before tax in salary and bonuses, according to Forbes.
Therefore to many, Cristiano Ronaldo seems a consummate professional and the epitome of athleticism. Of course, it is expected that a man who does 3,000 pushups a day should have incredible discipline and commitment.
Rio Ferdinand in a recent interview, however, revealed the lighter side of the Portugal and Real Madrid talisman. Ferdinand has been digging up the dirt on some of his former teammates at Manchester United and claimed that Ronaldo had a humorous side to him.
"Yes he likes to look good, be the showman, be the centre of attention but within a team frame-work," Ferdinand said.
"In the changing room he was involved in the banter, the messing about, everything. Whenever there was something going on he'd be hiding under the tables.”
In a Copa 90 video, the retired center-back recalls a story about the Real Madrid star in which he pulled a hilarious prank on Sir Alex Ferguson. What probably made it so funny is that the Scotsman has always come off as a no-nonsense kind of person, with players frequently at the end of the ‘hair-dryer’ treatment for silly mistakes.
Ronaldo’s partner in crime was none other than current United captain Wayne Rooney, but according to Ferdinand, the Portugal international wasn’t one that often required any kind of encouragement to pull off such deeds.
Ferdinand was initially talking about Ronaldo’s professional character and the determination that has seen him claim 3 Ballon d’Ors and become one of the finest footballers the world has ever seen. But the United legend later digressed about how the 31-year-old wasn’t always so serious and knew how to let his hair down and have a laugh.
Rio reminisces on a time in the Manchester United changing room ahead of a game against Benfica when the Portuguese was feeling particularly mischievous. Rooney initiated the prank by rolling the ball towards Sir Alex knowing that the manager would try to kick it, but Ronaldo was hiding under a table behind Ferguson waiting.
According to Ferdinand, Ronaldo reached out and grabbed his manager’s leg just as he was about to strike the ball. Luckily enough for Ronaldo, Ferguson managed to keep a hold of his balance and not fall; with the results probably being a lot more disastrous otherwise.
"It was just jokes like that. He was always involved as part of the team in the camaraderie that went on in the training ground.” Ferdinand continued
Ronaldo spent 6 years at Old Trafford, winning the Premier League on 3 occasions and 2007/08 Champions League. He also won his first Ballon d’Or while at the Theatre Of Dreams and has gone on to continue his incredible goal-scoring form at the Los Blancos.