Football

Ronaldo training at the Etihad Stadium..

Cristiano Ronaldo caught joking about Shaun Wright-Phillips' height

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Cristiano Ronaldo was back in Manchester on Monday night and took to the Etihad training pitch ahead of a crucial night for both him and Real Madrid.

Indeed, the Portuguese's legacy could well be defined on whether he inspires Los Blancos to their 11th Champions League title and the stakes could not be higher as he takes on the team he used to call his biggest rival.

Ronaldo, of course, enjoyed some fierce Manchester derbies during his United days, coming up against the Citizens in a time before their Middle Eastern makeover. Back then, the City team looked very different and was made largely from youth products, bargain buys and the odd international who failed to hit the big time.

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But one star who regularly shone brighter than the rest was Shaun Wright-Phillips. The diminutive winger had been told he would never make it in football but positively flourished when given the chance to do so at City.

He did so despite his lack of stature, coming in at a modest 5ft 5in, making him one of the smallest players to ever play in the Premier League.

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Jokes

And it seems the former England international made an impression on Ronaldo, who appeared to tell his Real Madrid team-mates all about him in their last training session before Tuesday's Champions League semi-final.

The 31-year-old can clearly be heard saying "Wright-Phillips" before extending his arm to indicate just how short the adopted son of Arsenal legend Ian Wright was. They all laugh and get on with their exercises.

Jokes aside

Ronaldo appears in high spirits in the video, but his face will be the personification of serious when the game kicks off on Tuesday night. He knows this could be his last chance to win his third Champions League title and will also be focused on breaking one of his own impressive records.

With 16 goals in the Champions League campaign already this season, Ronaldo needs just one more to match his record of 17, set in the 2013/14 season when Real Madrid last lifted the iconically massive trophy.

Competition

Although Wright-Phillips was a fine player in his time, Ronaldo is likely to face much fiercer foes this time around. Manchester City have spent almost £1bn on transfer fees since Ronaldo left the Premier League and now have one of the most star-studded teams in European football.

And Vincent Kompany has confirmed he and his team-mates are ready to specifically focus on stopping the three-time Ballon d'Or winner.

“It’s one of those things,” said Kompany. “If you’re playing against Barcelona or Real, you know you are going to get a question about Ronaldo or Messi and the answer is always going to be the same.

“If you play really well as a team you’ll have a chance of stopping him - if not, he will probably score.”

Manchester City Training Session and Press Conference

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Topics:
La Liga
Real Madrid
Football
Cristiano Ronaldo
Manchester City
Manchester United
UEFA Champions League
Shaun Wright-Phillips

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