Fabio da Silva insists Cristiano Ronaldo was a very supportive team-mate at Manchester United for him and is not the self-centred player he’s made out to be.
The Brazilian full-back joined United in February 2007 from Fluminense alongside his twin brother Rafael da Silva at the age of 17.
Fabio spent the next six years at Old Trafford, but ending up making a total of just 56 appearances in all competitions following a loan spell at Queens Park Rangers before eventually sealing a transfer to Cardiff City in January 2014.
Despite the unfortunate circumstances over his failed spell at United, Fabio retains fond memories of his old teammates and recalled just how welcoming Ronaldo was to him upon his arrival.
The now-OGC Nice defender also discussed the advice Ronaldo imparted to him on his United debut.
“I’ve heard Cristiano called selfish, but he gave us non-stop advice on and off the pitch,” Fabio told ESPN.
“When I made my debut against Tottenham, I played alongside him,” Fabio recalled. “Cristiano told me not to take risks in our half because he might not be able to get back to help me.
“With Cristiano supporting me, I felt so positive. And that debut game came after being out for six months with a shoulder injury, but I picked up another injury in that game…”
The 28-year-old struck up a close friendship with his compatriot Anderson, who now plays his club football for Turkish side Adana Demirspor.
“Anderson was another friend. Cristiano and [Darren] Fletcher were older, more serious. Anderson was more my age. We’d go to a Brazilian restaurant with Anderson and he offered to teach us English for free, which was nice of him, but his own English was not the best. He did teach us lots of swear words in English.
“Everyone loved Anderson; he has the biggest heart. Even now we have a group chat of former players and Anderson is in there, still writing in English and still using words only he understands.”