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What Ferguson makes of Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford

Likens the Portuguese’s second debut at United against Newcastle to Ceasar entering Rome.

IMAGE: A file photo of Alex Ferguson with Cristiano Ronaldo at a Manchester United training session. ‘When he was here as a kid, his learning process was very, very quick.’ Photograph: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Legendary Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has described Cristiano Ronaldo’s second debut for the Red Devils as “Caesar entering Rome”.

United pulled off one of the biggest coups of the transfer window by re-signing Ronaldo from Juventus on deadline day, August 30, 12 years on from his initial departure to Real Madrid.

 

Ronald scored two goals against Newcastle United on his second debut at Old Trafford – a game attended by Ferguson, who had earlier described Ronaldo as his son.

“It’s fantastic. You saw on that Saturday (Newcastle game) 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,” Ferguson told the club’s official podcast.

“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 added.

“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,” he added.

A sign in support of Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson is seen outside the Old Trafford stadium prior to the Premier League match between Manchester United and Newcastle United on September 11, 2021 in Manchester, England.

IMAGE: A sign in support of Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson is seen outside the Old Trafford stadium prior to the Premier League match between Manchester United and Newcastle United on September 11, 2021 in Manchester. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

The Scotsman said Ronaldo’s desire to make a 2009 dream move to Real Madrid led him to allow the star forward to leave when the LaLiga giants made their £80million bid for him.

Ferguson added: “I was not against that, six years was great for a boy from Madeira, getting him here just after his 18th birthday.

“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 be). 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.”

Under Ferguson, Ronaldo enjoyed a glittering six-year career at United, where he won 10 trophies including a Club World Cup, a Champions League title and an FA Cup.

Ronaldo has taken his tally to four goals in four appearances in the Premier League so far this season and with Manchester United due to play Villarreal in the Champions League on Wednesday, CR7 is expected to make an impact in the European competition. 

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