Cristiano Ronaldo admits he misses life at Manchester United

by Leo Nieboer

Cristiano Ronaldo has admitted ahead of the Champions League final that he misses life at Manchester United, noting the supporters at Old Trafford never booed him.

The Portuguese, who could win his fourth Champions League trophy on Saturday, arrived at the Bernabeu from Man United for what was at the time a world record fee of £80m.

He has claimed a mammoth 404 goals in 393 appearances for Madrid, winning eight domestic trophies – whilst also claiming a European Championship medal – in the process.

But Ronaldo, in spite of all he has achieved, told La Sexta that he still does miss life at Old Trafford.

“I spent a lot of years at Manchester United and it [home fans booing] never happened to me. Not even once,” he said. 

“Maybe England is a case apart, the mentality is different.

“I’m very happy being in Spain but obviously I also miss England because you can’t just turn off the memories.”

And when asked about the occasionally abrasive reception players receive from the Bernabeu faithful, he responded: “I don’t like it and it’s not normal that they whistle you in your own stadium. I just don’t like it. It shouldn’t be the case that a player who always wants to give his best and give 100 per cent for this team, when he makes his first mistake people whistle.

“It’s not correct. And when you are on a difficult run that is when you need extra support from outside, not less. Sometimes we don’t have it.”

Ronaldo will always be known as the man who, after outgrowing the Premier League, came to Madrid – a footballing juggernaut to the degree where they almost come across as aristocratic – and transcended the kind of fame even the biggest of footballers normally received. He is much more than a footballer; he is, in fact, a figure of power himself, attracting a fanbase that would probably eclipse all but, say, five or six clubs in world football.

But for all the dizzy heights reached over the last eight seasons, he will never forget the club that oversaw his transformation from a rough diamond to one of the finest footballers – and athletes – that ever lived.

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