Cristiano Ronaldo owes plenty to Sir Alex Ferguson since the great Scot was the man responsible for kick-starting his career at the top of world football.
However, it’s the compassion Fergie showed when Ronaldo’s father was dying in 2005 that the Portuguese superstar has chosen to specifically praise.
Fergie the compassionate
Coming at a crucial point in the season Ronaldo’s father was bedridden at a London hospital - where he would later pass away due to liver failure.
The then-United forward asked Ferguson for his permission to leave Manchester; he’s reflected positively on the answer he was given.
"When my daddy was dying, he was in a hospital in London, and it was not good. I said to (Sir Alex) Ferguson, “Coach I want to go.” It was a crucial moment of the season," Ronaldo said, as relayed by the Daily Mail.
"But Ferguson said, “Football doesn’t mean anything compared with your dad. If you want to go, go.” I’ll always appreciate that."
Looking at the bigger picture, there can be no understating the influence Ferguson had on the career of arguably one of the greatest footballers to ever lace up a pair of boots.
The three-time Ballon d’Or winner transferred to Real Madrid in 2009 and has since plateaued at an almost supernatural status, but it’s widely accepted that it was the development he had at United that gave him the impetus to achieve what he has done.
Return ever on the cards?
Interestingly enough there’s also been reports of late that he could make a return to United before he eventually retires.
God-like as he is in Madrid, a close friend revealed earlier this week that Ronaldo missed English football.
He’d certainly be welcomed with open arms by all those who remember the first stint of service he offered United, that’s for sure.
United fans, is Ronaldo ever going to leave Real for you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below.