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Cristiano Ronaldo took ‘aspects’ from four of the ‘best’ Man Utd legends, he studied them and learned a lot

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Al Nassr superstar Cristiano Ronaldo revealed that four Manchester United legends helped him learn a lot during his prolific first spell at Old Trafford.

Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson brought Cristiano Ronaldo to Old Trafford in 2003 after the Red Devils signed him in a £12.24m deal.

Ronaldo impressed Ferguson during a friendly match between Sporting CP and United in 2003, with the Al Nassr star receiving the iconic No 7 shirt at Old Trafford.

The 39-year-old Portuguese forward shot to superstardom under Ferguson and had a sensational impact during his time at the Premier League club.

Ronaldo lifted the first of his five Ballon d’Or awards at United before he completed his £80m move to Real Madrid in 2009, which was a world-record fee at the time.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner returned to Old Trafford for his second spell in 2021 after leaving Juventus and had an impressive first season back at the Red Devils.

However, Ronaldo’s second spell came to an end after his falling out with current United manager Erik ten Hag, leading to his Old Trafford exit in 2022.

While Ronaldo’s second stint at the club didn’t have the same impact as his first, the United and Real Madrid legend made a real mark during his time under Ferguson.


READ MORE: Sir Alex Ferguson was in awe at one ‘lethal’ legendary ex-striker he never signed, his pace blew him away

Cristiano Ronaldo (3L) of Manchester Uni

Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP via Getty Images

Following his first spell at Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo went on to have a scintillating career at Real Madrid and had a long-lasting impact at the Spanish club.

Ronaldo revealed that his development at Old Trafford was a crucial part of his later success, with the former United superstar being surrounded by talented players.

The Portugal captain singled out the influences of fellow United legends Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Rio Ferdinand on his playing career.

According to Ronaldo, the four aforementioned United legends were the types of players that had certain “aspects” that could be adopted and adapted to his playing style.

Ronaldo and Ruud van Nistelrooy, who played together at United and Madrid, famously had a heated argument in training during their time at Old Trafford.

“If you’ve got a little intelligence, you look and take [an] example from those who are doing things better than you,” he told France Football in 2019, as per The Daily Mail.

“That’s what I did when I was in Manchester with Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Rio Ferdinand… if you don’t learn from guys like that, you’re an imbecile.

“The goal isn’t to imitate but to take aspects from those who are the best and adapt it to your own personality. That’s what I did. I had some talent and I watched them.”

Ferguson’s influence on Ronaldo

Ferguson claimed that he always believed that Ronaldo would be destined to reach the top, even naming him among the four world-class players that he managed.

Ronaldo, who sees Ferguson as a father figure, spoke highly of the 82-year-old Scotsman’s role in his life after he left Sporting CP and signed for United.

Speaking to Manchester United’s Inside View in 2021, he said: “Everything that he said to me, he did.

“It’s difficult, you understand. Imagine you’re an 18-year-old, you arrive from Sporting and you play with the stars: Giggs, Scholes, [Roy] Keane, Solskjaer.

“I was a little bit nervous, but he helped me a lot [with] the communication. He called me sometimes to his office with the translator there, but it doesn’t matter.

“The important thing is to tell me things that help me to grow up like a person, like a player, and since day one, everything that he told me he did.

“So, I appreciate that a lot. I always say that for me, he’s like a father for me in football.”

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