Cristiano Ronaldo's most feared person at Manchester United revealed by Rio Ferdinand

  • Cristiano Ronaldo's episode with Sir Alex Ferguson resurfaces, as Rio Ferdinand reveals an interesting exchange between the pair.
  • Under the tutelage of the Scotsman, Cristiano Ronaldo became the best player in the world at Manchester United.
Modified 10 May 2020, 14:57 IST

Cristiano Ronaldo and Rio Ferdinand were teammates for six years at Manchester United
Cristiano Ronaldo and Rio Ferdinand were teammates for six years at Manchester United

Cristiano Ronaldo's stint with Manchester United will always have a special place in his heart, as the Portuguese international became a global superstar at Old Trafford under the tutelage of Sir Alex Ferguson.

Having spent nine years at the club, Cristiano Ronaldo banged in the goals in the Premier League and left the club in 2009 with three league titles, a UEFA Champions League title and a Ballon d'Or to his name. Ronaldo has fond memories of his time in England, having spoken time and again about the influence Sir Alex Ferguson had on his career.

"He's a fantastic person. A human person. He taught me many things. Like I've said before, he's like a father in football, because he taught me many things. I really miss him because I have a great relationship with him."

The Scotsman has also never hid his admiration of Ronaldo, who he claimed was the best player he had ever coached in his 26-year stint at Manchester United.

“Cristiano Ronaldo was the most gifted player I managed. He surpassed all the other great ones I coached at United - and I had many.”
“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.”

Cristiano Ronaldo's reality check

Cristiano Ronaldo became the best player in the world under Sir Alex Ferguson
Cristiano Ronaldo became the best player in the world under Sir Alex Ferguson

However, things weren't always plain sailing between the pair. Rio Ferdinand revealed an interesting anecdote from Manchester United's Champions League encounter against Benfica, where Cristiano Ronaldo reacted badly to the criticism he received from the boss.

“Cristiano Ronaldo was probably the one I saw react the worst to it. He wasn’t very happy with it, he was broken. In Benfica it was, he tried to take on everyone and the gaffer was saying, ‘you ain’t a one-man team, this is about the team."

Ronaldo was a bag of tricks in his formative years, and although he used to come on top more often than not, Sir Alex's damning assessment of his selfish gameplay was seen as a wake-up call for the youngster.

Ferdinand and Ronaldo shared the dressing room at Old Trafford for six years, a time when Manchester United dominated English football. In that period, Ronaldo also went on to establish himself as the best player in the world, as he secured a move to Real Madrid in the summer of 2009.

The former Red Devils skipper also added that Cristiano Ronaldo's mentality is unlike anything's seen before, as he lavished praise on his work ethic.

Rio Ferdinand praised Cristiano Ronaldo
Rio Ferdinand praised Cristiano Ronaldo's work ethic and professionalism.
"He was the first person I saw invest in a team. I went around his house and I saw about 10 people in his front room. I said, who are these people? What's going on?"
"He said, that's my chef, that's my physio, that's the doctor and that's my personal trainer. He left Man United as the best player in the world. He was on the right track. I think if you give young players advice, then I would say if you have the resources then invest in yourself like that."

Ronaldo has since then moved to Juventus, where he continues to bang in the goals in the Serie A at the age of 35. Despite playing under a handful of managers in his decorated career, Sir Alex Ferguson was the one he feared the most and the Scotsman will always have a special place in his heart.

Published 10 May 2020, 14:57 IST
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