Sir Alex heralds Ronaldo return
Legendary former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has outlined his respect and admiration for Cristiano Ronaldo during a special new UTD Podcast episode, which will be released in our Official App on Monday.
Sir Alex was part of the crowd that witnessed CR7's incredible second debut, against Newcastle United, and likened the all-conquering hero's entrance to that of stories about Julius Caesar, when the Roman emperor used the phrase: 'Veni, vidi, vici' after a quick, decisive victory at the Battle of Zela around 47 BC.
As part of a fascinating chat with presenters Helen Evans, Sam Homewood and David May, it was clear how excited the great man is to see Ronaldo back in the red shirt and firing home the goals for United.
"It's fantastic," enthused Sir Alex. "You saw on that Saturday that it was like Caesar entering Rome after victory. I came, I saw, I conquered. It was fantastic.
"I mean, for anyone who is a United fan, we could have had a million people in there, without doubt, as there were so many outside, hundreds outside. It's one of these things. When he was here as a kid, his learning process was very, very quick.
"A lot of people said he was a diver and there was a little spell of that but, after that, he was attacking defenders and all he needed was a nudge and he would waltz by them. He would attack with unbelievable speed. I think the increasing knowledge of his game - I think he was born with a desire.
"He sacrificed himself to be the best. I remember we were playing Arsenal on the Saturday and it was pouring with rain at Carrington. I said to him, and you know he would always practice after training, and I said, ‘In. We’ve got a game tomorrow and it’s too wet. The ground is too soft.’ So I went into my office, looked out of the window and what did he do? He went on the Astroturf. I had no argument! I couldn’t say anything to him. He’s beat me."
Sir Alex accepted the world-class talent's determination to represent Real Madrid, and respected the Spanish club's lure for the Madeira-born marvel.
"He had a dream of going to Real Madrid," admitted our former boss. "I was not against that, six years was great for a boy from Madeira, getting him here just after his 18th birthday and having him six years. I think we did well that way and it gave me a chance to get a replacement. We got Antonio Valencia and he was fantastic so we were very lucky that way.
"I knew [how good he would become]. Absolutely. I knew that. When he got to that kind of platform at Real Madrid. To be fair to Real, they are one club that has produced world-class players for years and years and won the European cup so many times, 13 or something. You've got to give them credit - it is a platform where any great player would love to go to."
The special UTD Podcast episode with Sir Alex Ferguson will be released exclusively in our Official App on Monday.
Registered users will be the first fans to hear the lengthy, absorbing chat with one of the greatest managers in the history of the game.