Sir Alex Ferguson was unwilling to afford Cristiano Ronaldo immunity from his trademark diatribes despite his importance to Manchester United’s prospects of success, it has been revealed by Rio Ferdinand.
Ferguson was infamous for delivering no holds barred tongue-lashings in the Manchester United dressing room, the hairdryer treatment as it became known, and it would appear no player was able to escape the manager’s fury.
Even Ronaldo, a player who would appear to require careful treatment in order to harness his special talent, would get it in the ear from Ferguson if the Scot felt it the best course of action, and Ferdinand has provided the details of one particular lambasting.
“I remember Ronaldo getting emotional after one game,” Ferdinand wrote in his autobiography, as serialised by The Sun.
“When we played Benfica in Lisbon he thought he had to prove to people in Portugal why he’d gone to United. The game became the “Ronaldo show”. He was trying to show his skills and nothing was coming off.
“We lost and afterwards the manager absolutely destroyed him. “Playing by yourself? Who the hell do you think you are?”
“Ferguson was brave to do that. He knew Ronaldo at that time was the key to us winning anything. If we were going to be successful and dominant he had to be in top condition.”
It was certainly a risk, but one that paid significant dividends for Manchester United over time. Ronaldo, of course, was able to establish himself as one of the greats during his time with the club, and left with only good memories.
In such fond regard does Ronaldo hold these six seasons as a Manchester United player he still has the ambition to move back to the club, something that he has made clear again recently.
While it had initially appeared that a move back to Old Trafford was merely a pipe dream, there is increased speculation that the 29-year-old could indeed rejoin the club where he forged is reputation in the not so distant future.
Guillem Balague has had his say on the matter and, given his reputation for breaking Manchester United transfer news - Angel di Maria’s move among his scoops- his are comments that tend to be worth listening to.
The Spanish football expert claims to have a strong inkling as to when Ronaldo will pursue a move back to Manchester, and adds that ‘everything is in place’ for it to happen. Watch this space.