Ruud Van Nistelrooy Told Cristiano Ronaldo He Should "Be In The Circus" During Furious Training Bust-Up
Ruud van Nistelrooy once told Cristiano Ronaldo he belonged 'in a circus' for doing too many tricks in Manchester United training.
Ronaldo arrived at Old Trafford in 2003 and immediately made an impression in training with his quick feet and remarkable talent.
But one star who wasn't convinced is van Nistelrooy. He took issue with the Portuguese superstars trickery and expected more service in the box.
Former teammate of both Rio Ferdinand revealed to BT Sport per Daily Mail: "It didn't happen instantly but he [Ronaldo] was unbelievably skillful and he was there to entertain the crowd. He loved doing skills.
"He used to get snapped in training but I remember one time, I think it was a good moment for him but he didn't take it too well. Ruud [Van Nistelrooy] was the man at United at the time. He was the man who scored all the goals.
"Ronaldo had the ball wide and was doing tricks and Ruud was making the run in the box, Ronaldo didn't pass and Ruud went crazy, screaming. 'He should be in the circus, he shouldn't be on the pitch' Ruud said and walked in, off the training pitch, and Ronaldo got upset and angry - 'why is he talking to me like that?' He was 18 or 19 at the time."
But 'CR7' would persevere and outlasted van Nistelrooy at United.
The Dutchman joined Real Madrid in 2006 after a falling out with Sir Alex Ferguson, who decided to build his attack around Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney.
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Ferdinand said the determination to prove people wrong is what took Ronaldo to the legendary status he occupies today.
"Some kids would've gone under and lost confidence," the 42-year-old continued.
"Some would've kept doing the same but Ronaldo knew that Ruud might be right and then it became all about numbers, about statistics, goals.
"We used to say to him, take the mic out of him and say 'you are not the real No 7 at the club, you've got George Best and [David] Beckham' and you could see him thinking, 'how can I derail them?'
"About mindset, I don't know a stronger, more determined, obsessed player that I've shared a changing room with," Ferdinand said.
"I was fortunate to watch him go from a boy to a man over a few years and him affecting training sessions. He was absolutely obsessed winning a training session and scoring the last goal."
Featured Image Credit: PA Images
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