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Ferguson had to send “obsessed” Ronaldo off the training field

Fri 01 October 2021 | 9:39

The Portugal international was on the training ground for too long for Alex Ferguson’s liking during his Manchester United early days.

Alex Ferguson

used to order

Cristiano Ronaldo

to get off the training ground as he was so ‘obsessed’ with football.

The Portuguese made a move to

Manchester United

when he was 18 from Sporting CP and has established himself as one of the best footballers in the world, having five Ballon d’Or trophies.

Ronaldo returned to United this summer after playing for Real Madrid and Juventus and becoming Los Blancos’ all-time goalscorer.

The former Juventus player considered Ferguson a father figure but the ex-United manager had to send him off the field in order to save his legs during his start at Old Trafford.

Nicky Butt

, former United midfielder, talked about this in the foreword of the new book 'Viva Ronaldo':

"Ronaldo was to emerge as a genius but it wasn't just about his talents that took him right to the top.

"It is often said that certain players worked hard, stayed behind for some extra training or to practise their techniques, but with Cristiano it was total dedication, total commitment, and total hard work.

"He didn't have a God given physique, it wasn't given, he worked hard to achieve it. He actually came to us as a skinny, scrawny young kid, and worked hard to get that physique over many, many years.

"He had to reach a new level of physical strength because the Premier League demanded it, and he had plenty of opportunity to see at first-hand how physical and tough it can be when he was up against, even in training, the likes of Roy Keane and Jaap Stam.

"We would also see him work relentlessly on his free-kicks and he would tell us about something he had seen somewhere, and he wanted to perfect it, and he would work again relentlessly until he did.

"It all went beyond dedication, he was obsessed with football. You see it all the time when some players talk about their dedication and how much extra practise they put in.

"But often it is little more than a pretence, maybe a touch more time practising and then rush off to do something else they are keen on, or can't wait to go home and have something to eat, but rarely do you find someone totally committed 24/7 to the game, but Cristiano was one of those.

"He never had a girlfriend back then, or seemed that interested in any distractions such as that, he never had a wife and kids to rush back to see or to entertain, he lived alone.

"He was the last to leave the building. In fact, you couldn't get him off the training pitch as he worked relentlessly on his techniques, as we all walking off he was carrying a bag of balls to work on those techniques.

"We would be having lunch in the canteen or getting ready to go home and you could hear the voice of Sir Alex bellowing across the training fields at two or three o'clock in the afternoon, shouting at Cristiano that it was time to get off the pitch as 'we have a game in two days - enough now'!"


source: SportMob

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