The Portuguese has recalled his former boss’ warmth and compassion during one of the most difficult moments in his life.
Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed his appreciation towards an understanding Sir Alex Ferguson during his late father’s illness.
Ronaldo’s father, Jose Dinis Aveiro, died in 2005 of liver failure after a severe battle with alcoholism. Prior to his passing, he was admitted to hospital – leaving his son in great distress.
The forward was just 20 years old at the time and in his second season at Manchester United, where he had begun to develop as a key member of Ferguson’s squad.
Yet, in a chat with Ferguson on Inside View, he recalled his old coach’s compassion and encouragement to visit his father.
Asked what was his best moment with the Scot, Ronaldo replied: “There were so many beautiful moments that we had together. Not us winning things, which is the most difficult. In my heart, I keep the most difficult things.
“He probably doesn’t remember this and I’m not supposed to say, but I will say it because it’s a beautiful history. I remember one day that my father was in hospital and I was so emotional, so very low.
“I spoke with him and he said; ‘Cristiano, it doesn’t matter, go there for two or three days’. We had difficult games and I was a key player in that moment. He said; ‘It will be tough because we have these difficult games, but I understand your situation and I’ll leave you to go and see your father’.”
Cristiano Ronaldo talking about the kind gesture that Sir Alex Ferguson made to him. #MUFC
Sir Alex: Some things are bigger than the football club. Family is definitely one of them. Without question. You should never put any club in front of your family. pic.twitter.com/SoSfdG3WFs
— Elijah Kyama (@ElijahKyama) December 18, 2021
Ferguson recalls the conversation
The 79-year-old recalled his reaction to Ronaldo, explaining how he understood his family needs were greater than the club’s.
“I got that from an experience as a young manager,” Ferguson said.
“I was 33-years-old and a young boy came to my office. It was a Tuesday and he said; ‘Boss, can I have Friday off’? I said; ‘Why do you want Friday off’? He said; ‘My mother’s died’ You’re beat. What can you do? I went: ‘Oh, of course, son,’”
“From that moment on, if a player came to me and said ‘I want tomorrow off’ I’d say: ‘Yes – can I help you?’
Ferguson continued: “In the case of Cristiano, I knew his father was ill, I knew he was in hospital and it was important for him to be there.
“It didn’t matter, the football. You have to understand, some things are bigger than the football club and family is definitely one of them.
“Without question, you should never ever out the club in front of your family.”