The legendary Scotsman intervened to prevent a nightmare scenario from unveiling and reunite Cristiano Ronaldo with Manchester United once more.
Sir Alex Ferguson played a massive role behind Cristiano Ronaldo’s sensational return to Manchester United.
Manchester City entering talks to sign Ronaldo earlier in the week left United fans aghast. The news left many of them reeling for days on end. Of course, it’s not the first time a former United player has gone to the blue end of Manchester. Carlos Tevez, Peter Schmeichel and Denis Law have all done the deed. But Ronaldo has always been a source of pride for the Red Devils, so the thought of him at City was a sickening feeling.
Ferguson, the man who brought an 18-year-old Cristiano to Old Trafford in 2003, was no exception. The Scot sprung to action by calling CR7 personally, the player’s agent Jorge Mendes, and members of United’s board. There was no way he was just going to stand idly by while City made a move for his old protege.
Sir Alex Ferguson – "The best player I ever managed was Cristiano Ronaldo."
Cristiano Ronaldo – "Sir Alex Ferguson was my father in football. He was crucial in my career & outside football, he was a great human being."
Sir Alex definitely played a huge part in this transfer ❤ pic.twitter.com/Hcf8gQjwOO
— UnitedReds (@UnitedRedscom) August 27, 2021
‘Cristiano and Sir Alex Ferguson have got a bond’
According to The Athletic, Ferguson’s actions were ‘decisive’. His intervention convinced Ronaldo – who regarded Sir Alex as a father figure during his first United spell – that a legacy-tarnishing move to City was out of the question.
“Cristiano and Sir Alex Ferguson have got a bond,” Ferdinand said on his YouTube channel while celebrating his former teammate’s return with a glass of champagne.
“Very few players get to have that in their career with a manager. Sir Alex played a massive part. There was no way Cristiano was coming to Man United without speaking to Sir Alex.
“Simple as that.”
The board’s swift actions pleased Fergie
The legendary manager, who has always wanted to bring Ronaldo back to Old Trafford, kept in close contact with United’s hierarchy to ensure they were doing everything possible to re-sign CR7. He also stayed in touch with Mendes to make sure everything went smoothly.
Then late on Thursday night, Mendes and United reached a verbal agreement for a two-year contract.
By Friday morning, United’s hierarchy had already entered transfer talks with Juventus. Ed Woodward agreed on a fee with the Italian club worth an initial €15 million plus up to €8 million in bonuses. The executive vice-chairman’s swift actions, along with those of the rest of the board, pleased Ferguson.
On that same day, Ronaldo drove to the Juventus training ground, packed his belongings, told the team he would go to Manchester, and then headed off to the airport to board a plane for Lisbon.
Hours later, City had thrown in the towel and United promptly announced the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s return to the world.