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Cristiano Ronaldo.

Van der Sar reveals what Ronaldo would say to him at the end of Man United training

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Cristiano Ronaldo will always be remembered fondly by Manchester United fans.

The Portuguese arrived at Old Trafford in 2003 as a little known teenager with bags of ability but with his fair share of flaws, and was expected to fill the void left by David Beckham's departure.

But, his first few years at the club were not too successful, and following the infamous incident involving Rooney at the 2006 World Cup, Ronaldo even asked for a transfer.

However, the season after that episode Ronaldo showed signs of transforming into one of the world's best players, and he never looked back from then on in.

The Portuguese winger's last three seasons in England brought about 91 goals in 153 appearances, made even more impressive by the fact that the majority of those were all scored from the wing.

Those three seasons also brought about three Premier League titles and one Champions League triumph, meaning he will always be held in high regard at Old Trafford.

EDWIN VAN DER SAR RECALLS TRAINING GROUND STORY

Van der Sar, who played alongside Ronaldo for four seasons at Old Trafford, has provided an insight as to why Ronaldo has been so successful.

In an interview with FourFourTwo, the legendary Dutchman reveals how Ronaldo would often ask Van der Sar to stay behind in training so he could practice free-kicks, and that he only wanted to test himself against him.

"Off the field, he was also focusing on everything extensively, such as resting up properly and strengthening his body," the 47-year-old explained.

"After training sessions he would often work on his free-kicks and then come to me and say: 'Edwin, can you go in goal?'

Manchester United v Liga De Quito - FIFA Club World Cup 2008 Final

"I’d say I was old so he would be better off using one of the youth-team keepers, but he would insist I went in goal as he wanted to score past me.

I would tease him a lot and say things like: 'You won’t score against me, Ronnie, you know it. Ask the reserve goalie, that’s better for your confidence.' He’d get agitated and reply: 'No, no. You’ve got to go in goal!'

"Cristiano is a really good guy, however, and the common perception of him is not a true reflection of his personality."

Quality. Many have spoken about Ronaldo always having the desire to be the best, and this story only emphasises it.

The Portuguese will go down as one of the greatest footballers of all time, more so because of his incredible work ethic and desire to be the best rather than because of natural talent. 

And that is why Ronaldo must be admired.

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Topics:
Cristiano Ronaldo
Manchester United
David Beckham
Edwin Van der Sar
Football

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