Cristiano Ronaldo's clash with Ruud van Nistelrooy made him a better player, says Rio Ferdinand

Manchester United vs Fulham
Manchester United vs Fulham
Modified 29 Jan 2021

Rio Ferdinand has revealed some stunning details about the feud between Cristiano Ronaldo and Ruud van Nistelrooy at Manchester United. The legendary defender claims that the clash between the two forwards made the Portuguese star a better player.

Ronaldo and Van Nistelrooy, who were teammates at Manchester United for a while, had a much-publicised clash. Ferdinand has now provided some intriguing details about the same.

During an interaction with BT Sport on Thursday, when the former Manchester United player talked about the clash between the two players.

He revealed that Nistelrooy was not happy with Cristiano Ronaldo showing off his skills near the sideline instead of passing the ball to the Dutchman who had made a run to the box.

"Ronaldo had the ball wide and was doing tricks, and Ruud was making the run in the box; Ronaldo didn't pass, and Ruud went crazy, screaming. 'He should be in the circus; he shouldn't be on the pitch,' Ruud said and walked in, off the training pitch, and Ronaldo got upset and angry: 'why is he talking to me like that?'"

Ferdinand, however, added that the clash made Cristiano Ronaldo more aware of his responsibilities on the pitch and made him the player he is today.

"He was 18 or 19 at the time. Some kids would've gone under and lost confidence. Some would've kept doing the same, but Ronaldo knew that Ruud might be right, and then it became all about numbers, about statistics, goals. What is going to make him the best player in the world? We used to say to him, take the mic out of him and say 'you are not the real No 7 at the club, you've got George Best and Beckham,' and you could see him thinking, 'how can I derail them?'"

Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United 

Cristiano Ronaldo scored 118 goals for Manchester United in 292 games. The Portuguese was a key player in Sir Alex Ferguson's side before moving to Real Madrid in 2009.

Touted one of the best players in the world at that time, Cristiano Ronaldo made a 'world-record' transfer to the Bernabeu. He played there for nearly a decade before flourishing at Italian giants Juventus.

Published 29 Jan 2021
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