Signing for Manchester United and playing in Sir Alex Ferguson’s team gave Cristiano Ronaldo the tools to become the best player in the world, the Portuguese legend has said.
Ronaldo, nearing a decade now at Real Madrid, left Man United for a then-world record fee of £80million to sign for the Spanish giants.
Yet his five years at the club, from 2004 to 2009, were filled with stunning football, trophy-laden seasons, including a UEFA Champions League-Premier League double in 2008.
“I will never forget the Red Devils,” Ronaldo said. The feeling, of course, is mutual, with Ronaldo’s name still sung around Old Trafford and simply the mention of his time at the club bringing a smile to most United fans’ faces.
“I learnt to be better and better, being around the best players in the world. If you make the two things [go together], talent and work hard, you can be a huge player. And I think I’m in that role.”
Ronaldo was speaking to Nike Football in an interview alongside United great Rio Ferdinand, who played with Ronaldo throughout the Portugueuse’s time at the club, and went onto play for the Reds for long after his friend had left.
Few players have excited Old Trafford like Ronaldo. Few players would create the atmosphere that Ronaldo did when he returned with Real Madrid back in 2013.
For United fans growing up in the second half of the Sir Alex Ferguson-era, Ronaldo was a hero. As ridiculous as it is, him saying he’ll never forget the club, as obvious as it is, is good to hear.