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Phil Jones Reveals What Sir Alex Ferguson Told Him About His Superb Man-Marking Vs Cristiano Ronaldo

Adnan Riaz

| Last updated 

Phil Jones Reveals What Sir Alex Ferguson Told Him About His Superb Man-Marking Vs Cristiano Ronaldo

Phil Jones has claimed that Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson handed him a huge confidence boost after he praised him for his performance against Cristiano Ronaldo.

Former United manager Ferguson snapped up Jones from Blackburn Rovers in 2011 for a deal worth up to £17m.


Jones, who has often been criticised during his injury-plagued United career, put in one of his best showings for the Red Devils in the Champions League in 2013.

Ferguson deployed the 29-year-old defender in midfield alongside Michael Carrick for United’s first-leg round-of-16 clash with Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Danny Welbeck fired the Red Devils into the lead in the 20th minute, but Ronaldo cancelled out his opener with a superb header in the 30th minute.

David de Gea was widely praised for his performance on the night, but Jones was also excellent in his man-marking of Ronaldo.

Jones said that he went to the premiere of Ferguson’s film, Sir Alex Ferguson: Never Give In, this year and crossed paths with the former United boss.

However, he revealed that Ferguson reminisced over the Champions League clash and was in awe at his “f*****g terrific” performance against Ronaldo.

Speaking to The Times, Jones said: “He was just unbelievable for me. I went to the premiere of his film with a few players and he came over, we shook hands and then out of the blue he said, ‘Hey, you were f*****g terrific against Real Madrid away [in 2013]. F*****g marking Ronaldo.’ It just gave me so much confidence.”

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

United were dumped out of the Champions League last 16 after a 2-1 defeat to Madrid in the second leg at Old Trafford.

Nani received a controversial red for his high-footed challenge on Alvaro Arbeloa after United took the lead early in the second half.

Sergio Ramos bundled the ball in the back of the Madrid net, but Luka Modric and Ronaldo both scored to send United crashing out of the Champions League.

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Speaking to MUTV in 2020, Jones admitted that he looks back with fond memories over his performance against the five-time Ballon d'Or winner in the first-leg tie.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

“It was a really big game for me. Playing against Madrid, in the Bernabeu,” he said.

“I played centre-midfield alongside Michael Carrick. There was a lot of hype about Ronaldo in that game, but we limited him to a few chances and we got a good 1-1 result at the Bernabeu, before we lost in the home leg [and were eliminated].

“It was incredible: the stadium, the atmosphere. It was a mad game and one that flashes by at the time. You only really take note of it a few years down the line.

“I think I got back the day after and the next night I had a catch up with my mates and they’re saying, ‘You played in the Bernabeu last night, against Ronaldo.’

“But when you’re that young, you just take it all in your stride and take it all for granted. It’s only when you look back and think, ‘Wow, what an occasion.’”

Featured Image Credit: Manchester United/PA

Topics: Phil Jones, Sir Alex Ferguson, Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United, Premier League, England, Football, Real Madrid, UEFA, Champions League, La Liga, Spain

Adnan Riaz
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