- Cristiano Ronaldo was signed to Manchester United under Alex Ferguson in 2003
- The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has stated that the former manager is like a father to him
- Sir Alex Ferguson clocks 79 and the entire world of football is showering encomiums on the legend
Cristiano Ronaldo has penned an emotional note to former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson who clocks 79 on New Year Eve; saying he is like a father to him.
It was gathered through former Manchester United chief executive Peter Kenyon that Ferguson persuaded the club to sign Ronaldo in 2003.
The Red Devils spent much of the summer of that year in pursuit of Paris Saint-Germain forward Ronaldinho, who was one of the game’s most high-profile players after shining for Brazil in their World Cup triumph the previous summer.
United ultimately failed in their pursuit of the Brazilian, but did bolster their front line that summer in the form of 18-year-old Ronaldo.
Ronaldo instantly became the most expensive teenager in British football after the Red Devils coughed-up a ridiculous £12 million (€13.5m/$15m) to sign him from Sporting Lisbon.
Ferguson was criticised for signing an unproven player for such an outrageous amount, but the manager was convinced of his talents, and today the rest is history.
As the former manager clocks 79, Ronaldo wrote:
“He's an amazing manager. I owe so much to him. And he's a fantastic person, a very human person. He's like a father to me in football.”
The player recently recounted how Sir Alex helped him develop from boyhood to manhood during his six-year reign at Old Trafford.
During his spell with the Red Devils, the 35-year-old encountered some personal issues, but said that the legendary manager helped him get through his trying moment.
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Although the forward has achieved more after leaving the Premier League club, he insisted that Ferguson remains the best coach he has played for in his professional career.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that during his spell at the English club, Ronaldo was never handed the captain band under the legendary tactician.
As at 2006, Gary Neville was the club captain but he once suffered an injury that left him out of action for some time and he consequently lost influence on the squad.
Neville claims he once approached the manager Ferguson to hand someone else the captaincy, but the tactician insisted that the player will rotate it with Ryan Giggs.
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