Cristiano: I'll never forget Sir Alex's compassion

Friday 17 December 2021 16:00

Cristiano Ronaldo says that he will never forget the compassion shown to him by Sir Alex Ferguson, prior to his father’s passing in 2005.

In a new episode of Inside View, presented by TeamViewer, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is asked to choose the best moment from his relationship with 'the boss'.
Perhaps surprisingly, Ronaldo opts for a non-football choice, but one that exemplifies the legendary manager's understanding and care for his players and their families.
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“It's hard to mention just one [moment],” Cristiano begins.

“There were so many beautiful moments that we had together. Not just winning things. But in my heart I keep the most difficult things.
“Probably he doesn't remember, but I will say it because it's a beautiful story. One day, my father was in hospital, and I was so emotional, very low. And I spoke with him and he said: ‘Cristiano, go there for two or three days.’
“We had difficult games [coming up],” he continues, “and I was a key player in that moment. 
“He said: ‘It will be tough because we have difficult games, but I understand your situation and I’ll leave you [out] and you can go and see your father.’ 
“For me, these are the most important things – apart from winning Champions Leagues, to win the Premier League, to win cups and stuff. So I have to appreciate him, because what he said to me, he always did. I have to appreciate that.”
Ronaldo’s father passed away in 2005, at the age of only 52, but the memory of the manager's empathy ensured a loyalty that endures to this day.
In the chat, Sir Alex goes on to explain that his approach to the sensitive situation was guided by an experience he went through earlier in his career.
“A young boy came to my office,” he recalled. “It was a Tuesday and he says: ‘Boss, can I have Friday off,’ and I says: ‘Why do you want Friday off?’ And he said: ‘My mother's died.’
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“You're beat. What can you do? I went: ‘Oh, of course, son.’
“From that moment on, if a player came to me and said ‘I want tomorrow off’ I'd say: ‘Yes – can I help you?’
“In the case of Cristiano, I knew his father was ill,” he continued. “I knew he was in hospital. It was important for him to be there. The football club didn't matter. 
“You've got to understand: some things are bigger than the football club, and family is definitely one of them. Without question. You should never, ever put the club in front of a family.”