Man Utd fans snap up Ronaldo shirts at Old Trafford
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Manchester United know they’ve got a king at their disposal in the wake of Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford. However, not even the Portugal international was able to always avoid Sir Alex Ferguson’s wrath during his first stint at the club. And how he fares under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer remains to be seen.
During his time under Ferguson, Ronaldo was rarely criticised.
The Scot knew the United star was a sensitive figure and, as a result, curbed his combative approach when it came to getting the best from him.
Ryan Giggs once said Ferguson ‘never’ had a go at Ronaldo, saying last year: “There were three or four players that he never had a go at.
“Eric Cantona was one – Bryan Robson, Roy Keane and Cristiano Ronaldo. They were all in their own ways matchwinners.
“They did the stuff on the pitch, so he never felt he had to.”
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But Ferguson did, once, publicly criticise Ronaldo.
Speaking after the Red Devils beat Sunderland 2-1 in April 2009, the United icon insisted Ronaldo ‘couldn’t have everything his own way’ and took aim at him for giving the ball away.
In a rare blasting of the 36-year-old, Ferguson said: “I don’t accept that he will give goals away because of the player he is.
“I speak to him about it. I don’t accept that from anyone.
“In European football, if you give the ball away it takes a long time to get it back.”
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And he then added: “He always feels he’s not getting the proper protection from referees and I think that, maybe, in quite a few cases he is right, and a few cases he is not right.
“It’s hard when a player who wants to entertain doesn’t get everything his own way.
“But you can’t get everything your own way. He understands that and there’s not a problem with that.”
Ferguson also revealed he had to ‘remind’ Ronaldo of having to overcome his own temperament when on the pitch.
“It’s just a frustration that he feels he doesn’t get the decision and he gets upset about it,” he added.
“I think, obviously, he doesn’t enjoy that and he knows he’s letting himself down more than anything.
“He holds his hands up. I have had to remind him about that but I’m not getting into what has been said.”
Ferguson’s failure to come down hard on Ronaldo ultimately saw the two strike up a strong bond.
And, speaking after his return to Old Trafford, the former Juventus and Real Madrid star paid tribute to his old mentor.
“Everyone who knows me, knows about my never-ending love for Manchester United,” he wrote on Instagram.
“The years I spent in this club were absolutely amazing and the path we’ve made together is written in gold letters in the history of this great and amazing institution.
“I can’t even start to explain my feelings right now, as I see my return to Old Trafford announced worldwide.
“It’s like a dream come true, after all the times that I went back to play against Manchester United, and even as an opponent, to have always felt such love and respect from the supporters in the stands.
“This is absolutely 100 per cent the stuff that dreams are made of!
“I’m right here! I’m back where I belong! Let’s make it happen once again! PS – Sir Alex, this one is for you…”
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