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Manchester United co-owner Avram Glazer has been left embarrassed after getting a basic Cristiano Ronaldo fact incorrect. The Red Devils sensationally re-signed their iconic former forward during the summer transfer window and he has been one of their best performers this season despite his side’s woes.
Ronaldo has scored nine goals in 13 appearances since his return. The club legend departed in a then-world record £80million transfer to Real Madrid in 2009 but United signed him from Juventus in August.
He has already bagged several important goals. He registered strikes in each of his first three games, including a brace on his debut against Newcastle. There were then goals against Young Boys and West Ham.
Ronaldo then endured a three-match Premier League goal drought before netting in United’s 3-0 win over Tottenham. It was an important victory for the club and for boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The Norwegian was under pressure following big defeats against Leicester and Liverpool. The Spurs win eased those doubts but they have since returned following a 2-0 reverse against Manchester City.
Ronaldo has been key since re-joining but Avram Glazer, part of the Glazer family who own United, has forgotten how old he was when he first signed for the Old Trafford outfit.
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Man Utd co-owner Avram Glazer incorrectly told a story about Cristiano Ronaldo (Image: GETTY)
The now-36-year-old was 18 when he arrived from Sporting Lisbon. However, Glazer wrongly told a group of young people that the Portugal hero was 16.
In a motivational speech to a group of aspiring athletes, Glazer said: “You’ve got school, you’ve got to do work, you’ve got to do athletics… it’s not easy and I appreciate all the work you do.
“I have two quick stories. One about the Bucaneers and one about Manchester United.
“To be good and to win, it’s not easy. There are a lot of good athletes and it’s very competitive.
“I’ll tell you a story about Tom Brady. Tom came to us last year. Tom is Tom, an unbelievable player and an unbelievable role model.”
But it was the second story Glazer told that included the incorrect statement. Speaking about the dedication it takes to reach the top of elite sport, Glazer insisted that Ronaldo became a United player two years earlier than he actually did.
Glazer, who also co-owns NFL team Tampa Bay Buccaneers, continued: “With Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United, he joined us when he was 16 years old and from the day he joined Manchester United he was the first person to practise and the last person to leave practise.
“So great athletes don’t just become great, they are not born great, they work extra hard, and they try their best, and you have to do your best, and be as focussed as possible.”
Ronaldo was 18 when he signed for United in 2003. The Red Devils beat Arsenal and Liverpool his signature with a deal in the region of £12m.
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Cristiano Ronaldo has been sensational since his Man Utd transfer return (Image: GETTY)
He scored 118 goals in 292 appearances during his first spell, including heading home in the 2008 Champions league final. United ultimately won on penalties after Frank Lampard’s equaliser.
Solskjaer compared Ronaldo to basketball legend Michael Jordan after he scored twice in a 2-2 Champions League draw with Atalanta a fortnight ago.
“Cristiano for us is like Michael Jordan for Chicago Bulls,” Solskjaer said. “No one can question the character of these players.
“They just don’t give up and they don’t give in and they keep going. We had to make a few changes, and they worked.
“Cristiano is just incredible. That’s what he does and if there’s anyone you want the chance – and a difficult chance – to go to in the last minute it is him. His technique on that volley was incredible.”