The Portuguese, then a teenager, was singled out by his former manager during his first season for failing to pass the ball, with Rio Ferdinand calling him a “cry-baby”
Detailed in an extract from an upcoming book, the Portuguese was desperate to prove his worth during a Champions League defeat to Benfica, but only riled his manager and team-mates due to a reluctance to pass.
After being called out in the dressing room at half-time, a teenage Ronaldo started to cry. The likes of Rio Ferdinand didn’t let him forget about the episode.
“Who do you think you are?,” Sir Alex said. “Trying to play by yourself? You’ll never be a player if you do this!”
Ferdinand adds in ‘Ronaldo: The Biography’: “He needed to learn. That was a message from the team, not just from Ferguson: everyone thought he needed to learn.”