If you were to rank all of Sir Alex Ferguson’s signings as Manchester United manager, Cristiano Ronaldo would be positioned very close to the top.
Ferguson convinced United to spend £12.24 million on the Sporting Lisbon starlet in the summer of 2003 and sold him to Real Madrid six years later for a world-record £80 million fee.
Ronaldo helped the Red Devils win a host of major honours in the process, including three Premier League titles and the UEFA Champions League. He even won the Ballon d’Or at Old Trafford.
At the opposite end of the scale is Eric Djemba Djemba, who joined United at the same time as Ronaldo for a £3.5 million fee.
Identified as a potential long-term successor to the excellent Roy Keane, expectation levels among the club’s supporters were understandably high.
However, it soon became patently clear that the Cameroon international was a million miles away from Keane. Just 18 months after signing for United, Djemba Djemba was sold to Aston Villa at a £2 million loss.
But the midfielder, who is now 37, still looks back fondly at the time he spent with the likes of Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Ronaldo.
In fact, he was closer to Ronaldo than most people might expect - and he’s told a heartwarming story about the Portuguese maestro which might come as a surprise to those who dislike his personality.
“My mum died in 2010 and he was there for me when that happened," Djemba Djemba, who now plies his trade for Swiss amateur team FC Vallorbes-Ballaigues, told The Sun.
"He was playing for Real Madrid at the time, he phoned me up and said, ‘If you need me and you need to talk to someone, I am here.'
"It was a moment I'll never forget and I really appreciated his kind words at a time when I was very upset."
Class from Ronaldo. Even though he’d moved on to Real Madrid and hadn’t played alongside Djemba Djemba, who was with Danish side Odense Boldklub at the time, for several years, he was still there for his former teammate.
Furthermore, Ronaldo has previously offered to help Djemba Djemba with his orphan charities in Cameroon.
“Cristiano said if I need anything, he is there. He will donate football kits, food and whatever he can to help,” the midfielder continued.
"He knows I do a lot of charitable work and he has always offered his support.
"Cristiano's a very generous man."
This all shows a side to Ronaldo which perhaps doesn’t get reported enough.News Now - Sport News