Phil Babb recalls the time he knocked out Cristiano Ronaldo

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Playing against Cristiano Ronaldo must be an absolute nightmare.

The Portuguese star is one of the best players to have ever played the game and trying to keep him quiet for 90 minutes is a nigh-on impossible task.

However, it’s not just during matches that it must be difficult to play against him.

Many of Ronaldo’s teammates from past and present have stated how he’s an incredible trainer and epitomises the theory of ‘train as you play'.

Therefore, even the defenders on his own side have the difficult task of playing against him on the training ground every day.

As frustrating as it may be that Ronaldo is beating you with countless stepovers in training, you know that you would be in a lot of trouble from your manager if you put a strong challenge on him.

However, that didn’t stop former Liverpool defender Phil Babb from taking out his frustrations on a young Ronaldo during his Sporting Lisbon days.

Speaking on Sky Sports’ Fantasy Football Club, Babb recalled the time he knocked out Ronaldo in training with a forearm to the face whilst at Sporting.

“When he [Ronaldo] came into the dressing room for the first time, he was really skinny,” he said.

“He had this big mop of hair - a bit like Steve McManaman back then.

“We’re doing a training session and it’s attack versus defence.

“So this little kids runs at me. He steps over twice, three times, goes past me, sticks it in the top bin.

“All the lads are like ‘Babbsy he’s had you off'.

“So the next time, he’s coming at me: step over one way, step over the next, he shoots past me - so I forearm chop him.

“I knock him out. So Ronaldo’s on the floor, and I’m like ‘Nunca mais [Portuguese for ‘Never again]'.

“He’s looking at me and he doesn’t know what has happened. The training ground’s gone quiet.

“Needless to say, he went down the other side and never came back".

And Babb jokingly claimed that his actions helped Ronaldo go on to become the superstar that he is today.

“I’ve had a massive influence on his career, I think. Just from that moment,” he added.

Of course, Ronaldo soon moved to Manchester United and established himself as one of the best players in Europe before he took his game to the next level at Real Madrid.

As for Babb, he moved to Sunderland after his spell at Portugal and was part of the side that was relegated from the Premier League in the 2002/03 season.

We wonder if Ronaldo remembers who Babb is.

Zinedine Zidane
Steven Gerrard
La Liga
Real Madrid
Premier League
Cristiano Ronaldo
Jamie Carragher

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