Fergie allowed Manchester United teammates to foul Ronaldo during training to stop his theatrical diving
In a bid to curb his diving habits, Sir Alex Ferguson instructed teammates and staff to foul the Portuguese player in practise matches to stop him falling to the floor like a rag doll.
Alex Ferguson wanted to curb Cristiano Ronaldo’s diving habit and allowed his teammates to kick him during training
During Ronaldo’s time at Manchester United, coaching staff were told to turn a blind eye to fouls from teammates in a bid to toughen him up
When Ronaldo arrived at United in 2003 for £12.24million from Sporting Lisbon he was given the iconic No 7 shirt that had been left vacant following David Beckham’s departure.
But Ferguson noted the winger’s weaknesses and wanted to prepare the 18-year-old for the brutality that he could be on the receiving end of in the Premier League.
Ex goalkeeping coach Tony Coton told the Daily Mail that these small-sided training games were brutal and Ronaldo’s team-mates took no prisoners.
It was the seasoned pros who finally began to get through to Ronaldo, Coton said: “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 fiery Scot’s man-management skills were second to none and he knew how to get the best out of his players including Eric Cantona who was allowed to wear the collar up on his No.7 shirt during training and matches.
When Ronaldo left United for Real Madrid in 2009, Ferguson secured a record breaking £80million fee after guiding the Portuguese player to greatness during their six years together.
Sir Alex Ferguson tried to convince Barcelona to sign Cristiano Ronaldo in 2008
The Portuguese international has spent the last eight years at Real Madrid and won the Ballon d’Or four times.
Sir Alex Ferguson felt Cristiano Ronaldo needed to be toughened up when he arrived at Manchester United
Ferguson left the managerial role at Manchester United in 2013 after 26 years in the position, he had won 38 trophies during his reign.
Cristiano Ronaldo takes the mick out of Gianluigi Buffon at Champions League draw