Cristiano Ronaldo returned to Manchester United in the summer of 2021, 12 years after leaving them for Real Madrid. Before the move, there were rumors that Ronaldo was close to joining City, which prompted a couple of United legends to jump in and persuade him against it.
It is widely known that Ronaldo’s former coach Sir Alex Ferguson advised him against the switch. Now, thanks to the book ‘Messi vs Ronaldo,’ Ferdinand’s contribution has come to light. It has been claimed that Ferdinand called up Cristiano Ronaldo at 3 AM, asking him not to join Pep Guardiola’s camp.
Ferdinand and Ronaldo, who played together for six seasons at Manchester United, share a deep bond, which might have had an impact on Ronaldo’s decision.
Soon after reports emerged that Ronaldo’s switch to City had fallen through, Manchester United took pole position in the race and ultimately signed him.
In his second spell, Ronaldo has played in 52 games across competitions, recording 27 goals and four assists.
Rio Ferdinand urges Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag to release Cristiano Ronaldo if he’s not in his plans
Cristiano Ronaldo made headlines for storming down the tunnel in Wednesday’s (October 19) 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur. Due to his lack of discipline, Ronaldo was suspended for Manchester United's 1-1 Premier League draw against Chelsea on October 22.
Speaking about Ronaldo’s walk-off, Ferdinand backed Erik ten Hag to release the superstar if he was not in his plans, claiming it was the respectful thing to do. Ferdinand said on his YouTube channel, "Five" (via the Manchester Evening News):
“That’s the only way that I see it, logically, that he did not play [last night]. I think Ronaldo will be absolutely fuming with that, naturally. I wouldn’t expect anything different from him. I think the big problem Erik ten Hag has got is that, coming up to this next window, he has to think very carefully about what he does.
“If he doesn’t see Ronaldo as a starter in his team more often than not, I think he has to release him from his contract. He has to let him go. It’s not fair on anybody, on the club, on Ronaldo, on Ten Hag, that the first question after every game is ‘Why didn’t Ronaldo start?’”