Louis Saha has revealed that Van Nistelrooy made Cristiano Ronaldo burst in tears during the training.
Ruud van Nistelrooy was one of the most prolific strikers during his time at Manchester United. The Dutchman scored 150 goals in the red shirt while also winning numerous personal and collective accolades. Van Nistelrooy, like his then-teammate Ronaldo, would later move to Real Madrid after spending five years at Old Trafford.
Louis Saha recently revealed Van Nistelrooy’s reasoning that might have made him flee England back in 2006. Saha, speaking to FourFourTwo, said that he and Van Nistelrooy were on good terms but the lack of game time worried the Dutch forward.
“He was always really nice with me, he maybe had a problem with the choice made by the manager, but never with me. He was obsessed about goals, and I respect that.
“I know some people said I maybe pushed him to a move away from the club, but that’s totally bollocks. He was such a good player – he just had an issue with the manager – and I was maybe good enough for the manager to replace him, but I could have played with him, too.”
Louis Saha then spoke about the conflicts between Van Nistelrooy and Cristiano Ronaldo. He also recalled the time when Van Nistelrooy made the Juventus star cry.
“Ruud had that kind of ego: he wanted all the passes. And sometimes, for the development of Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney, it was difficult for the manager to deal with.
“Did Ruud make Ronaldo cry? Yeah, there were stories because I think they ended up in an argument at the moment when Cristiano’s father had passed away, so it wasn’t the right moment. Things like that happen when two players have lots of spirit, but I’m sure Ruud regrets some of his words,” the Frenchman revealed.
“Cristiano was just an animal. I don’t know if you can say that he was a human! You could see from when he was 18 or 19 that this guy was not normal.
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“These players who have all the ability recognise that it’s also about working harder than anyone – not just talent. The top seeds in tennis don’t hit the ball better or have better technique; no, they work harder than anyone, and Cristiano did that.”