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An 18-year-old Ronaldo signed for Manchester United in a £12.75 million deal in 2003 almost immediately after starring against them in pre-season, running rings around the likes of John O'Shea.
Under Ferguson's tutelage for six years, Ronaldo went from scrawny teenager to a physical specimen and the best player in the world.
Ronaldo lifted three Premier League titles, a Champions League, an FA Cup, two League Cups, a FIFA World Club Cup and won the first of his five Ballon d'Ors.
Ferguson remains a father figure for the Portuguese superstar and was instrumental in his decision to return to Old Trafford in the summer.
They shared so many incredible memories together but the one that sticks out for Ronaldo isn't football related, it's the time his manager allowed him to leave Manchester during the season so he could see his sick father.
İkinci kısım, Ronaldo'nun babasının vefatından önceki süreç.— Rezzan (@rezzan_yetis) December 17, 2021
Ferguson, teknik direktörlük kariyerinde, henüz genç yaşlarda edindiği bir tecrübeyle Ronaldo'nun hayatında unutulmaz bir iz bırakmış... pic.twitter.com/MbpHrQ7pUR
"Probably he doesn't remember, but I will say it because it's a beautiful story," Ronaldo recalled in a conversation with Ferguson for Manchester United's Inside View feature.
"One day, my father was in hospital, and I was so emotional, very low. And I spoke with him and he said: ‘Cristiano, go there for two or three days.’ We had difficult games and I was a key player in that moment.
“He said: ‘It will be tough because we have difficult games, but I understand your situation and I’ll leave you [out] and you can go and see your father.’ For me, these are the most important things – apart from winning Champions Leagues, to win the Premier League, to win cups and stuff. So I have to appreciate him, because what he said to me, he always did. I have to appreciate that.”
Cristiano Ronaldo describes how special it was to speak with Sir Alex for the first time. ❤ pic.twitter.com/JAfXoxCcPo— TR. (@TotalRonnie) December 17, 2021
Ronaldo's father, Jose Dinis Aveiro, tragically passed away at the age of 52 in 2005 due to liver failure after a long battle with alcoholism.
He missed many of his son's greatest successes, with Ronaldo once saying "I really don't know my father 100 per cent" and that he was "a drunk person".
Ronaldo's tale is one of many examples of Ferguson's incredible man-management skills.
The Scotsman shared an anecdote from when he was just starting out and how that made him realise some things such as family issues, are bigger than football clubs.
"I got that from an experience as a young manager," Ferguson explained.
"I was 33 years old and a young boy came to my office. It was a Tuesday and he said; 'Boss, can I have Friday off'? I said; 'Why do you want Friday off'? He said; 'My mother's died'.
"You're beat. What can you do? I went; 'Oh, of course, son'. From that moment on, if a player came to me and said; 'I want tomorrow off'? then I'd say; 'Yes, can I help you'?
"In the case of Cristiano, I knew his father was ill and I knew he was in hospital. It was important for him to be there.
"The football club didn't matter and some things are bigger than the football club. Family is definitely one of them. Without question. You should never put any club in front of your family."
In his second spell at United, Ronaldo has rolled back the years and showed no signs of slowing down by scoring 13 goals in 18 games.
Featured Image Credit: Image: Manchester United
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