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Why Manchester United sold Ruud van Nistelrooy because of Cristiano Ronaldo

Anirudh Menon
5.78K   //    25 Sep 2017, 16:42 IST

Porto v Manchester United - UEFA Champions League
"Why always me?"

What's the story?

A new set of diaries published by Alistair Campbell, former head of communications for ex- UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and longtime confidante of ex-Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has thrown a whole new light on Ruud van Nistelrooy's rather controversial exit of the Old Trafford club.

He claims, as is the popularly held belief, that Ferguson was beginning to believe that van Nistelrooy was getting too big for his shoes and that he was already thinking of throwing him out when an incident with Cristiano Ronaldo seemingly forced his hand.

"He saw him as being very self-centered and he wasn't sure what to do with him," wrote Campbell.

"The final straw was when he told Cristiano Ronaldo he had found a new dad in Carlos (Queiroz, Ferguson's assistant) just after Ronaldo's dad, who was an alcoholic, had died."

"Carlos asked him to show respect and he said he didn't respect anyone there.He later apologised but CR (Ronaldo) was not having it.

"Alex sent Van Nistelrooy home when he heard about it later."

Pretty explosive, that.

In case you didn't know


This happened back in 2006, and Van Nistelrooy, of course, joined Real Madrid later that year. As coincidence would have it, he was reunited with Ronaldo a little over three years later when the Portuguese moved to Madrid - smashing the World Record enroute... but the Dutchman was to leave Madrid halfway through that very same season and make his way to Malaga.

The heart of the matter

van Nistelrooy was one of Ferguson's greatest signings - scoring 150 goals in just 219 games and leading the frontline with aplomb in the four seasons he spent with the Red Devils. So his scoring was never really the issue behind his departure.

Many have held a belief that it was due to the fact that his presence hampered United's build-up play but that is gibberish considering just how good the Dutchman was in bringing other players into play and this revelation from Campbell's diaries offers a far more plausible scenario... that van Nistelrooy was simply growing too big an ego in Fergie's eyes.


For those too young to remember the Dutchman in his pomp...

Robin Van Persie? Pshaw! For most who saw this Dutchman, RvN will always be the greatest Dutchman to wear United red

Author's Take

Seeing as how young Cristiano Ronaldo developed after 2006, Fergie probably made the right choice, eh?