How van Nistelrooy 'made Ronaldo cry' at Man United after father’s death

By Mirror: Friday, November 15th 2019 at 14:27 GMT +3 | Football
Ruud van Nistelrooy and Cristiano Ronaldo celebrate scoring a goal ina previous match [Courtesy]

Cristiano Ronaldo was once reduced to tears by Ruud van Nistelrooy during his time at Manchester United, former Red Devils striker Louis Saha has revealed.

Juventus star Ronaldo joined United as a teenager from Sporting Lisbon in 2003, while the Dutch striker was one of the main men in Sir Alex Ferguson's team.

The pair, who were later briefly reunited in Spain at Real Madrid, played together at Old Trafford until Van Nistelrooy left the club in 2006 after scoring 150 goals in 219 games.

However, in an interview with FourFourTwo, Saha indicated that the two players didn't always see eye-to-eye and that the striker's desire to score goals made things difficult for the younger members of Fergie's squad.

And Saha claimed that a disagreement between the pair shortly after the death of Ronaldo's father (in 2005) left the Portugal international crying

“Ruud had that kind of ego: he wanted all the passes," the former France international said.

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"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."

Before leaving United for Real Madrid in 2009, Ronaldo scored 118 goals in 292 appearances and helped the Red Devils to three Premier League titles and a Champions League trophy.

Portugal's all-time record goalscorer also enjoyed nine successful seasons in La Liga before making the move to Italy.

He has also won the FIFA Ballon d'Or five times, and Saha was full of praise for the forward's commitment to becoming one of the world's best.

“Cristiano was just an animal," he recalled. "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.

“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.”

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