EXCLUSIVE: Former USMNT wonderkid Freddy Adu reveals all about his trial with Manchester United - including being offered dinner by Cristiano Ronaldo!
- Adu opens up on Man Utd trial
- Ronaldo dinner invite still stands out
- Looks back fondly on working with Ferguson
WHAT HAPPENED? Adu was one of the hottest stars in the world during his teenage years, having broken through with D.C. United at age 14. Dubbed "the Next Pele", Adu had a trial at Manchester United in 2003, which allowed Sir Alex Ferguson to take a closer look at the American starlet.
He never ended up joining the club, as he remained in MLS until signing with Benfica once old enough to move abroad, but Adu still has fond memories of his brief time in Manchester.
WHAT THEY SAID: "One day after a session," Adu told NJ bet, "I was getting ready to go back to my place when Cristiano Ronaldo pulled up in his car next to me, and was just really, really nice and said 'Hey man! If you need anything let me know!' He offered to take me out to dinner, to show me around and just so that I knew I wasn't alone over there - that blew my mind!
"I had no idea that Cristiano was such a nice person and I became an instant Ronaldo fan in that moment - he couldn't have been any nicer. At that point, I said that this is the person I want to be, and how I want to carry myself, because other people were looking at me the way I was looking at Cristiano - you just have to be nice to people, no matter what. So that, for me, was an incredible moment.
"I actually didn't get a chance to hang out with Cristiano after that, because I was the young kid that was being hosted so wanted to be respectful. I told him that if I'm ever back, that I would hold him to the promise of dinner!"
It wasn't the only memorable superstar interaction Adu had during his stay, though.
"I played foot-golf with Kieran Richardson, Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick, which was a great moment for me," he continued. "I think Kieran Richardson won! From my memory, Kieran Richardson won and he was pretty damn good at foot-golf!"
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THE BIGGER PICTURE: Adu had impressed Ferguson to some degree as, after the trial, the Man Utd icon famously hailed the American as a "talented boy" that the club would keep an eye on.
And Adu says that making an impression on Ferguson still gives him pride as he can look back and say he impressed one of the best to ever do it.
"It meant the world to me to hear that from Sir Alex Ferguson because, in my opinion, he was the best coach in the world," Adu said. "The guy is legendary and he knew talent, so when he sees you and he says that you are very talented, that just validated the amount of talent that I had and gave me a lot of confidence.
"When I went there I did well, so after being at Man U and being around all those players, I remember performing extremely well because my confidence was at an all-time high. At that time, just being around those players for a few weeks, took my game to another level."
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WHAT NEXT FOR MANCHESTER UNITED? After winning the Carabao Cup over the weekend, Man Utd will continue their pursuit of the FA Cup on Wednesday against West Ham before facing their rivals Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday.