In training, Cristiano Ronaldo made a Man United colleague furious by saying, “He belongs in a circus.”
Any sane person would concur that when Ronaldo was 18 years old, he just thought about performing his expert stunts in practice. However, a breakup with a companion soon inspired him to become the best.
Ruud van Nistelrooy once became furious while preparing for a match because of Cristiano Ronaldo’s unique qualities, which made him react angrily.
In the summer of 2003, an 18-year-old Ronaldo had just transferred from Sporting Lisbon to Old Trafford in order to replace David Beckham and don the infamous number seven shirt. The dazzlingly talented teen recognized an opportunity and began to get ready to just do what he does best and perform his antics. In any event, the youthful player from back then failed to pass the Dutch striker a simple pass the entire time.
Rio Ferdinand, who suffered five years of playing alongside Ronaldo, recalled their argument on the practice field. Ferdinand remarked on BT Sport a year ago, “He used to get snapped in practice but I remember one time, I suppose it was a nice second for him but he didn’t take it very well. “At that time, Ruud [Van Nistelrooy] was in charge at United. He was the only one who had scored any goals.
“Ronaldo had the ball wide, was performing tricks, and Ruud was escalating the argument. When Ronaldo failed to pass, Ruud lost his cool and started yelling. Ruud walked in off the practice field and stated, “He ought to be in the carnival, he ought not be on the pitch,” to which Ronaldo reacted angrily and blasted, “For what reason would he claim he is chatting with me like that?”
“At that time, he was perhaps 18 or 19. A few kids would have perished and lost confidence. Others might have followed suit, but Ronaldo realized that Ruud might be right, and from that point on it became all about the data, insights, and goals. What will make him the world’s greatest player?
You could see him wondering, “How might I crash them,” because we used to tease him and tell him, “You are not the genuine No. 7 at the club, you have George Best and Beckham.”
Ferdinand acknowledges that after the argument, Ronaldo realized it was time to stop performing stunts and concentrate on being the best version of himself. Ferdinand continued, “It didn’t happen right away, but he was incredibly skilled and he was there to engage the group. He valued being able to do things.
Eventually, Ronaldo switched from being a youngster to a man right away, scoring 118 goals in 292 games for Sir Alex Ferguson.
“When we were heading to a debut, he was asked, ‘Who’s the best player ever?’ and Ronaldo responded, ‘Me,'” continued Ferdinand. He came [to United] as a youngster and departed as the best player on the planet. He has a self image, but he also has pride and an exaggerated character.
In the interim, Van Nistelrooy left United in 2006 for Santiago Bernabeu for a £10 million transfer after 219 appearances at Old Trafford, where he scored 150 goals.