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Here’s why Sir Alex Ferguson never made Cristiano Ronaldo Man United captain

FOOTBALL By Mirror | December 3rd 2020

Cristiano Ronaldo in action for Manchester United before moving to Real Madrid. [Photo, Agencies]

Cristiano Ronaldo spent six years at Manchester United, where he won the Premier League, Champions League and picked up his first Ballon d'Or trophy.

But during this time he was never once officially made captain by Sir Alex Ferguson.

It's not unusual for attacking players to be overlooked for the armband, especially when they're not one of the older heads on the team.

But the interesting thing where Ronaldo is concerned is that legendary United boss Ferguson did actually consider the Portuguese as a candidate for the armband.

In 2006 right-back Gary Neville was Manchester United captain after Ferguson handed him the armband the previous season.

But Neville suffered an injury that year, which resulted in him missing a number of games and losing some of his influence on the team.

One training session in 2006 Neville approached Ferguson and explained that he didn't feel worthy of the armband anymore.

He told him that his lack of game time, and the fact he felt he wasn't on the level of the other players in the team, meant it was time to pass on the baton.

Ronaldo would have of course been a candidate to take on the responsibility, but Ferguson had no plans to entertain Neville's idea, explaining once and for all why he - nor anyone else - would not be taking the armband from the right-back.

In this file photo taken on May 12, 2013, Manchester United's Scottish manager Alex Ferguson holds the Premier League trophy at the end of the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Swansea City at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England. [AFP, Andrew Yates]

"I got injured a year after taking the captaincy and that became really difficult for me," Neville told Sky Sports, while looking back on his time at United.

"It felt as though I wasn't contributing like a captain should be for my last four years. I actually went to see Sir Alex in pre-season about the third year I was captain.

"We had an amazing team: Ronaldo, [Wayne] Rooney, [Carlos] Tevez, [Ryan] Giggs, [Paul] Scholes, [Michael] Carrick, [Rio] Ferdinand, [Nemanja] Vidic, [Patrice] Evra, [Edwin] van der Sar… there were some great personalities and players in that group.

"I went over to Sir Alex walking onto the training pitch and said, 'I don't feel worthy of keeping the captaincy anymore. This team is to a level I can't compete at'.

"He said, 'You'll keep that f***ing armband, son.' The reason he gave me: 'You and Giggs will rotate it. If I give it to Ronaldo, Rooney will kick-off. If I give it to Rooney, Ronaldo will kick-off. If I give it to Vidic, Ferdinand won't be happy'.

"So literally I think me and Giggsy kept it for three or four years beyond that just purely because of the fact the camaraderie in the dressing room. We were the policemen if you like, the older statesmen.

"Sir Alex wanted to make sure the team came first. Even though I felt unworthy as a captain at that stage."

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