Did Ruud give his MOTM trophy to Ronaldo?
Former Manchester United forward Ruud van Nistelrooy is the latest legendary Red to have been in the guest seat on the UTD Podcast.
In a new episode, released on Monday at 17:00 BST and available via your regular podcast provider, the Dutchman joined co-hosts Sam Homewood, Helen Evans and David May to discuss a range of topics including his move to United, the rivalry with Arsenal, and winning the Premier League title in 2003.
As well as that, United’s former no.10 also spoke about winning the FA Cup in the following campaign, after a Man-of-the-Match-winning performance in which he scored a brace to help the Reds overcome Millwall 3-0 at the Millennium Stadium.
Cristiano Ronaldo got the other goal on that day in Cardiff and following the game, it was reported that van Nistelrooy had given his personal accolade from the cup final to the Portuguese. So, did he?
“No, I didn’t! Of course, the picture of us holding the trophy together in front of the United section, I have that in my house,” van Nistelrooy explained.
“I can confirm I have the little Man-of-the-Match trophy here at home too, I didn’t give it to him. I deserved that as well!
“Cristiano had a good game, he scored the important first goal. We were struggling to score the first and so that was important, but I wanted to keep that [the trophy] myself.
“My whole family was there, and celebrated after with the team and family, it was a special moment of course. We needed a trophy too, to get something out of that season.”
On the subject of reports surrounding himself and Ronaldo, the Dutchman also addressed the talk around a potential training ground bust-up with his former United and Real Madrid teammate during his podcast appearance.
“There’s no secret about how things go on the training ground or in a match between players, we tried to get the best out of each other,” the 44-year-old explained.
“When I joined [United] and I didn’t hold up the ball as much as the other players and the manager liked, they would tell me off and tell me to keep the ball, chest it, be strong and allow the team to relieve a bit of pressure.
“I had the same with Cristiano, it took a long time in the beginning to make his game effective. A lot of dribbles, a lot of scissors, and I was making runs for crosses and passes, I had a couple of moments with him where it got fired up, that’s no secret.
“But in the general relationship between us, we were always fine because you shake hands and move on. Later in Madrid when we were teammates again, the relationship was good.
“So, it’s a story [that became bigger than it should have]. With Cristiano, it was a discussion about what we just said. Making earlier decisions from my part to him, nothing more, nothing less and that’s it.”