Cristiano Ronaldo Made Sir Alex Ferguson ‘stupid’ After Knocking Out His Old Team Right On The Holy Ground

It may not have been completely amicable, but Cristiano Ronaldo’s first Manchester United exit was significantly more cordial than his second.

While his most recent stint ended with THAT Piers Morgan interview, Ronaldo’s first Old Trafford exit was sealed through a ‘gentlemen’s agreements’ with Sir Alex Ferguson.

The legendary Scottish boss had to be at his persuasive best in 2008 to convince the flying winger that his dream move to Real Madrid could wait 12 months.

In his book, Alex Ferguson: My Autobiography, he wrote: “I went to Carlos’s [Queiroz, formerly assistant coach to Ferguson and then-Portugal manager] house in Portugal to find the boy expressing an urge to go to Real Madrid, and told him: ‘You can’t go this year, not after the way Calderon has approached the issue’.

“I said, ‘I know you want to go to Real Madrid. But I’d rather shoot you than sell you to that guy now. If you perform, don’t mess us about, and someone comes and offers a world record fee, then we will let you go.’

“I did well to calm him down. I told him that the reason I was refusing to sell him that year was because of Calderon.”

Ferguson stuck to his word. A year after that intervention in Portugal, Ronaldo sealed his £80million move to Real Madrid, which ensured his bond with Ferguson – his father figure and mentor – endured.

“For me, Sir Alex Ferguson is like a father in football for me,” he said when re-signing for the club in 2021. “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.”

MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 13: Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid heads the ball to score past goalkeeper David de Gea of Manchester United during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg match between Real Madrid and Manchester United at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on February 13, 2013 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Real Madrid via Getty Images)
Ronaldo climbed above Patrice Evra to score against Man Utd

That relationship ensured that when Ronaldo came up against United for his new side, there was no bad blood – unlike his current situation.

His first reunion with Sir Alex and Co. came 10 years ago this month when Real Madrid were drawn against the Red Devils in the Champions League last 16.

United had topped their group, only to be given the toughest draw possible against the Spanish giants. The first leg took place in Madrid, with United hoping they would do enough to be in the driving seat for the return clash.

It started well for Ferguson’s side as well, with Danny Welbeck putting the visitors ahead after 20 minutes of play. But in a flash, Ronaldo reminded everyone why Los Blancos moved heaven and earth to sign him four years earlier.

Angel Di Maria, who would eventually sign for United, whipped a cross into the box where Ronaldo leaped above Patrice Evra to arrow a header past David de Gea into the bottom corner.

That was one of 10 efforts on goal from Ronaldo during the 1-1 draw, with Ferguson happy to still be in the tie. And the ex-United boss admitted that his mid-match assessment of Ronaldo’s goal was completely wrong –

forcing an uncharacteristic withdrawal of criticism as he “felt a bit stupid”.

“What a header, you can’t stop that,” Fergie said, minutes after hugging his protege on the pitch. “The leap, the spring, the way he held himself in the air. What a header.

“I blamed Patrice Evra for his goal at first for not challenging – then I saw the replay and I felt a bit stupid. On the replay, Ronaldo’s knee is about as high as Evra’s head

. It was phenomenal! I’ve seen it before, and I don’t think any other player in the world can do that – certainly not Lionel Messi.”

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 05: Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid (R) reacts after scoring his team's second goal during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second leg match between Manchester United and Real Madrid at Old Trafford on March 5, 2013 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)


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