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Cristiano Ronaldo was once used by Sir Alex Ferguson to persuade two players to sign for Manchester United, instead of rivals Arsenal.
It's strange to think that just over a week ago it looked like Ronaldo's return to the Premier League was going to be to sign for Manchester City.
In a crazy 12 hours, the rumours turned to near certainty before, seemingly out of nowhere, the former Juventus forward was instead returning to Old Trafford.
Ronaldo would have been all too familiar with the tactic, having actually been on the other end of it when he played in England the first time.
Fabio da Silva explained how a call from the all time top international goal scorer helped him, and brother Rafael, pick United ahead of Arsenal.
"First it was a Portuguese greeting. Then the voice says: ‘It is Cristiano Ronaldo," the Brazilian full back told the Daily Mail.
"I think it is a joke but he says, ‘No, it is Cristiano here. I’m calling you to tell you to come to United. I can help you guys so you need to come. You’re going to enjoy [it].’
"Sir Alex Ferguson must have known about Arsenal. This was his way of making sure we came to Manchester. It worked."
United had been scouting the twins as early as 2005, just two years after Ronaldo had signed from Sporting and already made an amazing start to life at Old Trafford.
Arsene Wenger was also interested in the two players and was following their progress, however they picked Fergie's side in 2007, moving to Manchester from Fluminense the following year.
The Nantes left back also revealed that it wasn't just before he arrived at the 'Theatre of Dreams' that Real Madrid's all time top scorer was handing out advice.
"He is my hero, the best," Fabio added, "He helped me a lot, saying, ‘Don’t worry, just play. Calm, cool. I will be here for you.' That meant so much and, of course, his talent is something I’ve never seen in my life.
"I love him because he set a very big example for young boys like us. That is what he will do for the players this second time. The things I took from Cristiano are for life. The players about to play with him now at United should be thankful every day."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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