Cristiano Ronaldo is widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time. The Juventus frontman has won everything there is to win in club football and also added a European Championship with Portugal to his trophy cabinet in 2016.
When Sir Alex Ferguson announced his retirement on this day in 2013, Cristiano Ronaldo took to Twitter to pay tribute to one of the greats of the managerial greats of the game.
Over the years, several figures have been influential in his career, but none more pivotal than former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson. The legendary Scotsman took the leap of faith to bring Cristiano Ronaldo to England in 2003, as he arrived as a teenager and donned the famous #7 shirt at Old Trafford.
Cristiano Ronaldo's rise to fandom
Dubbed as the next big thing in world football, Cristiano Ronaldo burst onto the scene in England and established himself as a global superstar under the tutelage of Sir Alex.
With 3 Premier League trophies, a UEFA Champions League crown and a Ballon d'Or to his name amongst others, Ronaldo left Manchester United in 2009 to join Real Madrid for a world-record deal worth £80 million.
Since then, he has won trophies for Real Madrid, Juventus and Portugal and firmly established himself as one of the greats of the game. While Cristiano Ronaldo was always meant for greatness, it is Sir Alex Ferguson who gave him his big break, and it is something he remains thankful for till date.
When the former Manchester United boss was hospitalized in 2018 for a brain haemorrhage in 2018, Cristiano Ronaldo once again took to Twitter to share his feeling for his former boss. The Scotsman has since then made a full recovery and is often seen at Old Trafford, as he attends matches regularly despite leaving the club seven years ago.
“He’s a fantastic person. A human person. He taught me many things. He’s like a father in football.”
The pair enjoyed unwavering success in their time together in England. While Ronaldo established himself as the best player in the world, Manchester United won trophies on all fronts and were the most envied team across Europe at the time.
However, in recent years, the Red Devils have struggled to replicate their success from Sir Alex's time at the club, with one of his former players Ole Gunnar Solskjaer currently at the helm at Old Trafford.
Cristiano Ronaldo, however, has continued to bang in the goals and won trophies aplenty since swapping England for Spain in 2009. Sir Alex also lavished praise on his former hitman, citing that Ronaldo is one of the best players he has ever coached.
"Cristiano Ronaldo was the greatest player I ever worked with"
The duo enjoyed a fruitful relationship at Old Trafford and dominated world football in the 2000s, as they maintain contact despite going their separate ways.
Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to return to action in the coming weeks, as the Serie A season edges ever so close to a resumption.