Cristiano Ronaldo has grown from a promising talent to being the best footballer in the world and Ferguson has a lot to do with it.
The Portuguese superstar did not start his Manchester United career in the brightest way possible. The 32-year-old arrived in England from Sporting CP back in 2003. During his first years in Manchester his performance was highly inconsistent and plagued by acting. Sir Alex Ferguson did something quite interesting in order to help Ronaldo improve as revealed by former United coach Tony Coton.
“Ferguson showed what he thought of this kid Ronaldo by handing him the club’s iconic No7 shirt when he signed him in 2003.” Coton said to Daily Mail.
“But just as important was the gaffer’s ability to recognise his weaknesses.
“One flaw was his habit of falling to the floor like a rag doll every time he lost a tackle.
“Sir Alex embarked on a mission to toughen him up. Members of the coaching staff were encouraged to turn a blind eye if they saw Ronaldo being fouled in practise matches and small-sided games.”
“Poor Ronaldo didn’t know what hit him as team-mates he’d been sharing a joke with him gave him the kind of treatment that was no laughing matter.
“When a free-kick was not forthcoming, he’d throw his hands up in outrage and sit on the turf muttering Portuguese curses while the game continued around him.
“Toughened pros like Roy Keane, Rio Ferdinand would lambast him for being soft.
“It was tough love and slowly but surely, the message began to seep into our winger’s consciousness.”
The idea of the Scottish manager clearly worked as Ronaldo proceeded to become United’s best player, winning three consecutive Premier League titles, 2008 Champions League, FIFA World Cup 2009 and 2009 League Cup.