Cristiano Ronaldo recalls the ‘beautiful moments’ he enjoyed with Sir Alex Ferguson at Man United

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Cristiano Ronaldo recalls the ‘beautiful moments’ he enjoyed with Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United… including the Scot letting him go and be with his father before his death in 2005

  • Cristiano Ronaldo has discussed the importance of Sir Alex Ferguson on his life
  • The Man United icons have been speaking about their influence on each other
  • Ronaldo recalled the moment Ferguson let him see his ill father before his death
  • The ex-United boss let Ronaldo leave the team to be there for his last moments



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has revealed the human side of his ‘father in football’ Sir Alex Ferguson in an emotional interview with the legendary manager.

Ronaldo, who re-signed for United last summer after 12 years away, says his most poignant memory of Ferguson’s leadership qualities came when his own father died in 2005.

‘We had so many beautiful moments together and won many trophies but what I keep in my heart was the day my father was in hospital,’ explained Ronaldo.

Cristiano Ronaldo (left) opened up on 'father in football' role Sir Alex Ferguson (right) played

Cristiano Ronaldo (left) opened up on ‘father in football’ role Sir Alex Ferguson (right) played

The Manchester United icons sat down to discuss their impact on each other in an interview with United sponsors TeamViewer

The Manchester United icons sat down to discuss their impact on each other in an interview with United sponsors TeamViewer

‘I was emotional, so very low, and I went to speak to the Boss and he said: “Go there to be with him.”

‘We had difficult games coming up and I was a key player but he understood my situation and he wanted me to be with my family. That was most important thing about him, more than winning the Premier League or Champions League.’

Ferguson also recalled the exchange shortly before Ronaldo’s father passed away.

‘I knew he was ill and it was important for Cristiano to be there,’ said Ferguson. 

‘It didn’t matter about the football club, there are some things bigger and family is one of them.

Ferguson has opened up on the role he played when Ronaldo's father, Jonas Dinis Aveiro (pictured), passed away in September 2005

Ferguson has opened up on the role he played when Ronaldo’s father, Jonas Dinis Aveiro (pictured), passed away in September 2005

‘I learned that as a young manager at 33. A young boy came into my office and asked for the Friday off. I said “Why?” and he said his mother had died. From that moment, if a player says he wants tomorrow off, my response is “Yeah, can I help you?”‘

In a wide-ranging conversation between Ronaldo and Ferguson about communication, the former United boss said the least enjoyable part of his working week was the 45 minutes before kick off.

‘That was the time I didn’t enjoy, when the team was warming up and I was sitting in the office, watching television on my own, lonely,’ he said. ‘That is the only period I didn’t enjoy – once the game started, fantastic.

‘As a manager you must make people feel valued. I could never walk past anyone, players, kitchen staff, groundsmen, without saying something; Good morning, how are you, how are your parents?

Ferguson (right) spoke about the importance of making players like Ronaldo (left) feel valued

Ferguson (right) spoke about the importance of making players like Ronaldo (left) feel valued

‘It is vital people recognise you care and you take an interest. That is what communication is. You have to instil a trust and confidence in people. Then they know if they have a problem, my door is open. Over time, Cristiano and other players would understand that.’

Ronaldo first signed for United in 2003 as a replacement for David Beckham after impressing against United for Sporting Lisbon in a friendly. He says Ferguson made the transition possible.

‘I didn’t speak English and it was tough but the communication from the manager was very good since the beginning,’ he said. ‘You’re born with that I think. You can learn, but it’s inside of you. You can have that instinct and valour to speak in front of people.

‘When we met at Sporting, you can imagine it was a kind of dream to speak to Sir Alex Ferguson as an 18-year-old. He showed straight away what his thoughts were. I remember it quite well, it was a special day for me.

Ferguson (right) brought Ronaldo (left) to Old Trafford in 2003 as an 18-year-old prodigy

Ferguson (right) brought Ronaldo (left) to Old Trafford in 2003 as an 18-year-old prodigy

‘At United, I was a little bit nervous to be with Giggs, Scholes, Kane. But he helped me a lot, he called me to the office to tell me things to grow up as a person and player. 

‘I appreciate it a lot. It was like having a father in football. What he said to me, he always did.’

Footage of Ronaldo speaking to Ferguson is on the Manchester United website with thanks going to their shirt sponsor TeamViewer.

Ferguson is regarded as playing a pivotal role in persuading Ronaldo to return to Old Trafford from Juventus last summer after Manchester City initially appeared favourites to sign the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.

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