Cristiano Ronaldo should “thank him a lot” for his role in Manchester United’s transfer, according to Phil Neville.
Sir Alex Ferguson wants to buy Ronaldo because of his poor performance during a pre-season friendly between Man United and Sporting Lisbon in 2003, according to Neville.
Cristiano Ronaldo owes Phil Neville a debt of gratitude for his role in persuading Manchester United to sign the young forward in 2003.
According to reports, United planned to purchase the 18-year-old and loan him back to Sporting Lisbon for another season.
Sir Alex Ferguson, on the other hand, was so taken with Ronaldo during a pre-season match between the two clubs that he decided to bring him to Manchester right away.
Former United defender Neville joked that it was his poor performance at full-back that allowed Ronaldo to stand out.
“I think Cristiano has to thank me a lot because I was playing in that game in Sporting Lisbon when he kept dancing past me down that wing,” Neville said on Sky Sports.
“After the game, Sir Alex signed him in the dressing room… I played in that game, and you saw someone who was going to be very special in 90 minutes, no doubt about it.”
“It’s not every day that you can say that about someone.
“So all I ask is that he approaches me after the game and expresses his gratitude for all of your efforts in assisting me in getting to where I am today.”
After Sporting’s 3-1 victory, the United players were as ecstatic as Ferguson about the prospect of playing with Ronaldo.
Rio Ferdinand recalled, “We were on the bus afterwards, waiting for chief executive David Gill and the boss Alex Ferguson.”
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“All we wanted was for them to sign Ronaldo.”
He was our player in a week’s time.”
Ronaldo inherited David Beckham’s famous number 7 shirt from him when he moved to Real Madrid that summer, and he made an immediate impact at Old Trafford.
Ronaldo’s United career took off in 2006, after he played 40 times in his debut season and scored the opening goal in the 2004 FA Cup final against Millwall.
Ferguson’s side won the Premier League for the first time in three years, and he scored 23 goals and won the PFA Player of the Year award in 2006-07.
He won the Ballon d’Or in 2008 for his efforts.
The news is summarized on Brinkwire.