Alex Ferguson knew how to get the best out of Cristiano Ronaldo, says Wayne Rooney
CAPE TOWN – Sir Alex Ferguson always knew that Cristiano Ronaldo would turn out the way he has, former Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney wrote in his weekly column on Sunday.
Ronaldo joined United from Sporting Lisbon in 2003 and was branded by Ferguson as a future star. While his ability was apparent early on, the young Portuguese started to frustrate his team-mates, and Gary Neville said most of the United players had given up on him due to his inconsistency.
But according to Rooney, Ferguson always believed he had a special player on his hands.
“A manager needs to have a vision of what piece he needs and how they will fit together,” Rooney wrote in his column in the UK Times.
“When I joined United, Fergie said: ‘I’m building a team, I’ve brought in Ronaldo and think he’s going to be a top player. I’m buying you, I have Darren Fletcher coming through and younger players like Wes Brown and John O’Shea mixing with the experience of Giggs, Scholesy and Rio,” Rooney wrote.
“Then he bought Michael Carrick and Park. Then Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra, Carlos Tevez and Owen Hargreaves.
“You could see the steps he was taking and how he was letting players go. Roy Keane left. Ruud van Nistlerooy left – and sometimes you thought, ‘what’s he doing?’
“But Fergie always had in his mind the bigger picture and knew, for example, that to get the best out of Ronaldo he had to let Ruud go.”