Sir Alex Ferguson does not want any credit for Cristiano Ronaldo's success
The great coach feels that the player made it himself, and that he (and United) just provided the young Portuguese the tools he needed
Sir Alex Ferguson is not the kind of guy who pulls his punches – or puts on an air of false humility just to suit an occasion.
So when he says he doesn't deserve to get credit for something, you and I stand up and listen.
Fergie is widely credited with transforming Ronaldo from a flashy trickster of a teenager into the world beater that he is today. Everyone knows the story of how he motivated Ronaldo to reach new goal-scoring heights during that wonder 42-goal season at Manchester United in 07-08
The Scot, though, disagrees -
“Ronaldo is a perfect example of someone who made himself. It’s easy for me to say, ‘yeah, I made Ronaldo’. Many coaches might say I made this player and I made that player, but Ronaldo made himself.”
He may be being a bit too self-deprecating (yes, I just wrote that) but he backs it up with some perfect logic. In that, Cristiano Ronaldo's incredible, and famed, work ethic came in for much praise from his former manager -
“We just gave him the tools and the platform to excel. His practice ethic was incredible. He was a fantastic player, he was the best.”
It's a testament to the drive that has propelled Ronaldo to the glorious heights that we are now accustomed to see him at.
In fact, he drew some incredible praise from Ferguson. From what we can infer, he said that Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player he's ever coached – just think of the class of player he coached at Manchester United in his long 26-year reign and you understand just how great a compliment that is
“We had fantastic players in Scholes, Giggs, and Cantona. We had some fantastic footballers, but Ronaldo was just something else” - Fergie gushed about one of his favourite ever players
Ferguson was speaking after having been conferred with the prestigious Walther Bensemann prize in Nuremberg. The 74-year old was recognised for his outstanding work in football – during his stint at Aberdeen, and that ridiculously successful 26-year reign at Old Trafford where he amassed an incredible 38 trophies.
Franz Beckenbauer and Sir Bobby Charlton are previous winners of the prize named after the innovative German managerial genius Walther Bensemann who is widely regarded as a pioneer of German football.
He was in a generally self-deprecating mood yesterday and said
'I think to last 39 years as a coach is unique and also that the people I worked with bought into the work ethic I had, I think that was important.'
A richly deserved award, this is what Kicker magazine publisher Rainer Holzschuh had to tell Ferguson -
'You've changed the English style of play and created a modern football culture.'