LONDON: Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed that a promise by former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson that he would play in 50 percent of the club’s games prompted him to move to Old Trafford in 2003.
In a new documentary about his career, Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes says that Ferguson’s offer was key in encouraging the winger, then an 18-year-old rising star at Sporting Lisbon, to reject rival offers from clubs including Barcelona and Inter Milan.
Speaking at a press conference in London on Monday to mark the launch of the film, Ronaldo said: “When Sir Alex Ferguson says, ‘Cristiano, I want you to come to Manchester United, you’re going to play 50 percent of the games,’ it made me feel comfortable and I said, ‘Wow.’ “Because 18 years old, to play 50 percent of the games, for me it’s unbelievable.
“I took that decision because Jorge helped me to take that decision and of course the last word of Sir Alex Ferguson was the key to sign for Manchester United.”
The Real Madrid superstar added: “As I say many times, with Manchester United I have a great passion.
“I say that every time. What Jorge did to me, with 18 years old, to put me in one of the best clubs in the world, with the words of Sir Alex Ferguson, I never dreamt (it was possible).”
Ronaldo spent six years at United, winning three Premier League titles, the 2008 Champions League and being awarded the Ballon d’Or, before joining Madrid in a world-record transfer in 2009.