Louis Saha Recalls The Time Ruud Van Nistelrooy Made Cristiano Ronaldo Cry In Manchester United Training
Ruud van Nistelrooy made Cristiano Ronaldo cry during a training ground row, as recalled by former Manchester United striker Louis Saha.
Following on from the altercation between Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez becoming a massive story going into England's game against Montenegro on Thursday, Saha has told the story of an argument he witnessed back in the day.
"Ruud had that kind of ego: he wanted all the passes," Saha said in a wide-ranging interview with Four Four Two.
"And sometimes, for the development of Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney, it was difficult for the manager to deal with.
"Did Ruud make Ronaldo cry? Yeah, there were stories because I think they ended up in an argument at the moment when Cristiano's father had passed away, so it wasn't the right moment.
"Things like that happen when two players have lots of spirit, but I'm sure Ruud regrets some of his words."
Ronaldo's father, Jose Dinis Aveiro, died of alcoholism in 2005 and sadly missed the majority of his son's many successes and triumphs in the game.
It has been claimed that Van Nistelrooy's exit from United came about as a result of Sir Alex Ferguson making an example of him because of a comment he made about Ronaldo's dad.
Former Labour communications chief Alastair Campbell, a good friend of Ferguson's, shed light on the situation in his book.
As reported by the Times, Campbell wrote the following regarding the Dutchman's departure:
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"The last straw was when he told Cristiano Ronaldo he had found a new dad in Carlos [Queiroz, Ferguson's assistant] just after Ronaldo's dad, who was an alcoholic, had died."
"Carlos asked him to show respect and he said he didn't respect anyone there. He later apologised but CR was not having it.
"Alex sent Van Nistelrooy home when he heard about it later. He was not sure what he was going to do with him."
In September, Ronaldo broke down in tears when he was shown an unseen video of his late father talking about how proud he was.
The clip, filmed outside his home for Norwegian TV before his passing, was watched by the five-time Ballon d'Or winner for the first time during his interview with Piers Morgan on ITV.
"I never saw the video," Ronaldo told Morgan.
"I never saw that video. Unbelievable."
"I think the interview would be funny, but I didn't expect to cry. But I never saw these images. I don't know where you... I have to have these images to show my family.
"But I really don't know my father 100 per cent.
"He was a drunk person. I never spoke with him, like a normal conversation. It was hard."