• September 17, 2021

Exclusive: Cristiano Ronaldo was loved by Sir Alex Ferguson but even the superstar was on the receiving end of the manager’s famous hairdryer treatment at Manchester United

 Exclusive: Cristiano Ronaldo was loved by Sir Alex Ferguson but even the superstar was on the receiving end of the manager’s famous hairdryer treatment at Manchester United


He has referred to Sir Alex Ferguson as his father in football, but even golden boy Cristiano Ronaldo wasn’t immune to the famous ‘hairdryer treatment’.

Ronaldo completed his sensational return to Manchester United last month, rejoining to the club where he made his name, 12 years and four more Champions League trophies later.

Ferguson loved having Ronaldo at United, but even he endured one of the boss’ famous telling offs

AFP – Getty

Ferguson loved having Ronaldo at United, but even he endured one of the boss’ famous telling offs

The player is now back at United, returning as a superstar though he doesn’t want any special treatment

AFP

The player is now back at United, returning as a superstar though he doesn’t want any special treatment

The Portugal captain was heavily linked to a move to Manchester City before rejoining United, and had reportedly agreed personal terms with Pep Guardiola’s side before a change of heart.

That late swap was said to be inspired by a phone call from Ferguson, who still maintains a close relationship with Ronaldo since he departed Old Trafford in 2009.

The pair have shared plenty of heartwarming moments over the years since going their separate ways, but it wasn’t all plain sailing, as Rio Ferdinand recalled.

Ferdinand was at United for Ronaldo’s debut, all the way through to his departure, and saw the good, as well as the occasional bad.

Rio Ferdinand and Cristiano Ronaldo pictured in 2006

Rio Ferdinand and Cristiano Ronaldo pictured in 2006

Ferguson has been famed for dishing out his hairdryer treatment – named for its heated nature – to some of the game’s greats such as David Beckham and Wayne Rooney, and as it turns out, Ronaldo’s even had his once over.

During the 2005/06 season, when still establishing himself as one of the world’s best talents, he travelled to Portugal for a Champions League match against Benfica.

The former Sporting CP academy graduate wanted to punish his old foes, but went a little to far.

“The game became the Cristiano Ronaldo show,” Ferdinand said. 

“He was trying to show his skills and nothing was coming off. 

“We lost and afterwards the manager absolutely destroyed him, ‘Playing by yourself? Who the hell do you think you are?’”

Ronaldo learned his lesson very quickly – this was a team sport

Getty

Ronaldo learned his lesson very quickly – this was a team sport

It was a lesson learned for Ronaldo, who went on to win his first of three consecutive Premier League titles the following season, on the way to his first Ballon d’Or crown.

But Ferdinand believes it was a high-risk, high-reward tactic from Ferguson to hang the superstar out to dry.

“Ferguson was brave to do that,” he said. “He knew Ronaldo was the key to us winning anything. 

Ronaldo reportedly talked to Ferguson before deciding on his move

getty

Ronaldo reportedly talked to Ferguson before deciding on his move

“A lot of managers would have been scared of taking him on. I never saw England managers hammering David Beckham like that, or Steven Gerrard, or Frank Lampard, or Wayne Rooney. 

“But Ferguson would go for anyone. It didn’t matter if you were the main man, he’d open you up if you needed it.”

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