Gary Neville Explains Why Sir Alex Ferguson Never Made Cristiano Ronaldo Captain
Gary Neville has revealed that Sir Alex Ferguson wouldn't give the Manchester United captaincy to four of his senior players, including Cristiano Ronaldo, because of fear of damaging the squad unity.
The right back was club captain at Old Trafford from 2005 to 2011 but often saw the armband worn by Ryan Giggs in the later years of his spell because he didn't play as often.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Neville opened up about the fact he actually encouraged the manager to take the captaincy from him. "I got injured a year after taking the captaincy and that became really difficult for me.
"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, Rooney, [Carlos] Tevez, 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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Neville was club captain for two Premier League titles, a League Cup triumph and the 2008 Champions League win against Chelsea in the final.
The right back however didn't play against the Blues in the Moscow and the armband was worn by Ferdinand in the final instead.
When Neville retired in 2011 the captaincy went to Vidic, with Ronaldo having left the team, and Rooney would become club captain once Ferguson retired and David Moyes took over in 2014.
Ronaldo has been captained by Sergio Ramos and Giorgio Chiellini, at Real Madrid and Juventus respectively, since leaving Old Trafford in 2009, two players who are legendary at their clubs.
The five time Ballon d'Or winner is the captain of the Portugal national team though, and helped lead them to success at Euro 2016.
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