What Cristiano Ronaldo Said To His Man United Teammates In Training Before Joining Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo didn't exactly hide that he was going to leave Manchester United at the end of the 2008/09 season, according to former teammate, and housemate, Nani.
At the close of United's Premier League and Champions League double-winning season in 2008, Sir Alex Ferguson was able to convince Ronaldo, who scored 42 goals in that success, to stay at Old Trafford.
A year later the forward moved to Real Madrid for a then world record fee of £80 million and, according to Nani, the former Sporting man wasn't shy about talking about the move.
"We would stay at the end of training to do competitions and they [Anderson and Ronaldo] were my teammates, everyone has best friends or some they feel more comfortable with and they were my support," Nani told the official United podcast, UTD.
"Some days he [Ronaldo] was telling us openly, 'I'm here six or seven years now, I think it's enough for me.' He said that a couple of times.
"But it was always, 'I will see, I will see, I will see' but we never thought it [Real Madrid move] would happen so fast. After we won the league in the second year he left, he produced a great season so we were still surprised."
Ronaldo had admitted publicly as early as March 2007 that he wanted to play in Spain 'one day' but also said he was still happy at United.
A year later, with his first truly incredible season in the bag, that would earn him a first Ballon d'Or, he spoke openly about the interest that Real had for him.
It sparked a controversial war of words between the two clubs for Los Blancos' open pursuit of the player with United reporting the Spanish giants to FIFA over tapping up.
FIFA president didn't exactly fall on the side of the Premier League club, comparing them not wanting to sell Ronaldo to 'modern slavery' but Fergie uttered the most remembered line in the saga.
Talking about the potential sale in December 2008 the United boss said, "You don't think we'd get into a contract with that mob, do you? Jesus Christ. I wouldn't sell them a virus."
Of course he would eventually sell Ronaldo to the Bernabeu six months later with the next Galactico phase kicking off by signing Kaka for a world record fee only to break it with Ronaldo a week later. The former United man went on to be the Spanish side's all-time leading scorer while winning four Champions Leagues and four Ballon d'Ors in the Spanish capital.