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Cristiano Ronaldo

'He was bloody fantastic' - Watch Ronaldo & Sir Alex Ferguson reunited in rare joint interview

16:40 IST 18/12/2021
Cristiano Ronaldo Sir Alex Ferguson
The Portuguese, who returned to Old Trafford this season after more than a decade away, shared a special interview with his former manager and mentor

Cristiano Ronaldo and Sir Alex Ferguson were reunited at Manchester United in a special interview that sees the pair reflect on their time together at Old Trafford.

The Portuguese, who returned to United at the start of the 2021-22 campaign after leaving over a decade earlier, enjoyed several trophy-laden seasons under Ferguson and has never been shy about his appreciation for the Scot.

And in a joint interview conducted by the Red Devils' official club website, the duo have opened up on the progression of their relationship over the years and how their mutual admiration has grown.

Watch the full Ronaldo-Ferguson interview

Ronaldo & Ferguson on... Cristiano's arrival at Man Utd

Ronaldo: "Imagine you are 18, you arrive from Sporting Lisbon, you play with the stars - with [Ryan] Giggs, [Paul] Scholes, Roy Keane and [Ole Gunnar] Solskjaer. I was a little bit nervous.

"But he helped me a lot [with] communication. He called me sometimes to his office with the translator there but it doesn't matter. The important thing was to tell me things to help me grow up like a person, like a player, and since day one, everything that he told me [he would do], he did.

"I appreciate it a lot, I always say that, for me, he's like a father for me in football. So I have to appreciate everything he did for me, for my family, especially for the club... he did an amazing job."

Ferguson: "With any boy coming from another country, 18 years of age, I think he was the youngest we ever did that, with Cristiano, his mother stayed for quite a bit. I think having family around when you make a move like that, coming to another country, it's really important.

"I know his mother was used to the move they made from Madeira to Lisbon when he was a young kid. But coming to another country where the language is different, it's a big step for a young person."

Ronaldo & Ferguson on... a 'bloody fantastic' debut

Ferguson: "I think the club did really well but I'll always remember that when we had the discussion, I think that I wanted to impress upon his agent in particular, he won't play every game but if he is so good, I can't stop him.

"You always play your best players and the opening game of the season [against Bolton - United would go on to win 4-0], he was a substitute, he came on and he was absolutely bloody fantastic."

Ronaldo: "Thirty minutes!"

Ferguson: "The crowd was magnificent, the crowd loved it. So here we had the situation - do I play him the next game or do I put him back on the bench? That is a big problem, that!"

Ronaldo & Ferguson on... the beautiful moments they shared

Ronaldo: "It's hard to mention one [moment that stands out as the best]. There were so many beautiful moments that we had together. Not [just] us winning things, which is the most difficult, but in my heart, I keep the most difficult things.

"He (Ferguson) probably doesn't remember, but I will say that, because it's a beautiful history, I remember one day that my father was in hospital, and I was so emotional, so very low, and I speak with him (Ferguson) and he said: 'Cristiano, it doesn't matter. Go there, two or three days'.

"And we had difficult games, and I was a key player in that moment. And he said it will be tough because we have difficult games, but I understand your situation. You can leave, you can go to see your father.

"For me, this is the most important thing, apart from winning Champions Leagues, Premier Leagues, cups and stuff. So I have to appreciate him because, as I told you in the beginning, what he said to me, he always did, so I have to appreciate that more."

Ferguson: "In the case of Cristiano, I knew his father was ill, I knew he was in the hospital, and it was important for him to be there. It didn't matter, the football club. You've got to understand, some things are bigger than a football club. Family is definitely one of them, without question. You should never, ever put the club in front of your family."

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