In his first interview since returning to the club, Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has reiterated the role that legendary former manager Sir Alex Ferguson played in his decision to come back to Old Trafford.
Ronaldo struck up a father/son-like relationship with Ferguson when he arrived at United as a little-known 18-year-old in 2003, which became even more important once his own father sadly passed away two years later when the player was still just 20.With his time at Juventus coming to an end, Ronaldo had been linked with a shock move to Manchester City this summer. But the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, who has already described returning to United as a ‘dream come true’, has revealed Ferguson was the ‘main key’ in his decision.
“As everybody knows, since I signed for Manchester [United] at 18, Sir Alex Ferguson was the key. I remember when we played against Manchester when I was at Sporting Lisbon,” Ronaldo explained to his new old club’s in-house media.
“For me, Sir Alex Ferguson is like a father in football for me. He helped me a lot, he taught me many things, and in my opinion of course he had a big role because the relationship that we had, we keep in touch all the time, and he’s an unbelievable person.
“I really like him a lot and he was the main key for me to be in the position that I am, that I signed for Manchester United.”
During his first spell at United, Ronaldo was once a teammate of current manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. They played together only relatively briefly between 2003 and 2007, largely because of Solskjaer’s long-term injuries during that time, but even after retiring the Norwegian remained at the club in a coaching capacity as Ronaldo became the best player in the world.
“We had a chat, but of course I’m going to have time to speak with him face to face, to know what he expects,” Ronaldo said of his contact with Solskjaer regarding the move.
“As you know, I played with him for two or three years at Manchester United so I have a good relationship with him but now with a different role, I’m a player and he’s a coach. But it doesn’t matter, my relationship with him is great.
“As I say before, I’m there in Manchester to help the team achieve his results and the coach can count on me for whatever he wants. So I’m available for everything.”