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Exclusive: Former Manchester United coach speaks about Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo
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Former Manchester United academy coach, Kevin Reeves speaks about what made Cristiano Ronaldo so special and why he was Fergie’s favorite.

Cristiano Ronaldo was already identified as a special player by many at Carrington way before he made his Manchester United debut. That is according to former Manchester United academy coach, Kevin Reeves.

Reeves, who was part of the club’s coaching staff for a number of years, saw firsthand the early steps taken by a then young Ronaldo before he became a global star.

While speaking exclusively to Ronaldo.com, Reeves revealed that Ronaldo was completely different from the young players who were at the club’s academy.

“You know when we first saw Ronaldo and those things he did in that friendly game (for Sporting), we didn’t really know what to expect. Being so young and how things work out in football, we didn’t know how his work ethic would be like.”

“But the first day he comes and he is completely serious and focused, not fooling around, the first player on the field. We never expected him to take in everything so easily. He just wanted it so bad…he wanted to succeed.

That conviction and that mind-set, you don’t get to see it a lot in most kids. But this one was different. He just knew what he wanted. It was as if nothing was going to move him off the rails.”

While many believe that Sir Alex Ferguson protected Ronaldo a lot, Reeves feels that the former Manchester United man had earned that love.

ROME – MARCH 31: Sir Alex Ferguson, the manager of Manchester United, controls the ball as Cristiano Ronaldo looks on during the Manchester United training session held at the Olympic Stadium on March 31, 2008 in Rome, Italy. Manchester United play Roma in the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final First Leg Match tomorrow night at the Olympic Stadium in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

“People say that Sir Alex was a tough man. He could be when he had to be and many players have experienced his anger. But not Ronaldo. He loves him like a son and it just didn’t happen at once. Cristiano earned it. He showed the gaffer how much he wanted to learn and the manager saw it.

Why would you vent out your anger on a player who is your best student? He never gave Sir Alex an excuse to be made at him.”

While many people have said that Ronaldo is someone who’s full of himself, Reeves begs to differ.

“What makes me sad is that many people have a wrong image of Ronaldo. At Manchester United and pretty much wherever he has gone, he’s always been a great lad. He always had time to speak with the younger players and always motivated them.

He still has that connection with the club and you can see that every time he plays at Old Trafford.”