Football

Cristiano Ronaldo and Sir Alex Ferguson.

Cristiano Ronaldo reveals the moment he realised Sir Alex was 'unbelievable'

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When the winner of the 2017 Ballon d'Or is announced on December 12, everyone is expecting Cristiano Ronaldo's name to be read out.

Having achieved the La Liga and Champions League double with Real Madrid this year, the Portuguese is bookmakers' favourite to win the award at 1/33.

That's according to Sky Bet anyway, who then have Lionel Messi second at odds of 14/1 and Gianluigi Buffon at 33/1.

Should Ronaldo win the Ballon d'Or as expected, he will go level with Messi on five and further solidify his place among the greats.

Hard work on the training ground has gotten Ronaldo to where he is today, though he owes a lot of his success to the managers who have nurtured him down the years.

Zinedine Zidane is one of them, of course, but none have made a bigger impact on the Portugal international's life than Sir Alex Ferguson.

Fergie brought Ronaldo to Manchester United as a fresh-faced teenager in 2003 and over the course of six years developed him into a world-class forward.

They eventually parted ways in 2009 when Ronaldo joined Real for £80 million, but the father-son relationship they shared was something special.

Manchester United Press Conference

A video has emerged online detailing just how close they were and the moment Ronaldo realised Sir Alex was "unbelievable".

Back in 2005, when Ronaldo's father was taken ill in a London hospital, he asked his manager to leave Manchester and see him.

Ronaldo didn't know what kind of response to expect, but Ferguson showed compassion by allowing him to leave for as long as he wanted. Take it away, Cristiano.

RONALDO AND FERGIE'S TOUCHING MOMENT

"My daddy was sick in London," Ronaldo said. "He was in hospital, very bad. In a coma. I had a conversation with him (Sir Alex) and I said: 'Boss, I don't feel good'.

"We had a key moment in the Champions League but I said: 'I don't feel good, I want to see my dad'.

"[He said]: 'Cristiano, if you want to go one day, two days, one week, you can go. I'm going to miss you, I will miss you here, because you're important, but your daddy is in first place'.

FBL-BRITAIN-FILM-POR-RONALDO

"When he told me that I felt like, this guy is unbelievable. He was the father of football for me.

"He's still hungry, he still wants to win, he's still motivated to win trophies, to go to training at 62-years-old, 63, 64, 65, he still wants titles. He still wants the team to play good every week. So for me, it was a surprise."

Wow. Football fans know all too well that Ferguson had a mean side, but Ronaldo's story just goes to show how he really was a father figure to his players.

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