A former Manchester United coach reveals they had to teach Cristiano Ronaldo to be more of a team player when he joined the club in 2003.
The Portuguese joined the Red Devils as an 18-year-old skilful winger from Sportong Lisbon, after impressing in a pre-season game against Sir Alex Ferguson's side.
Ronaldo went on to establish himself as one of the greatest scorers the game has ever seen, but Ferguson's assistant coach Mike Phelan says they had to change his game a bit.
“Ronaldo stood out. He was like a sponge. He wanted more [advice from United's coaches]. He challenged you for more," Phelan told The Coaching Manual.
“We had to try and get Cristiano to be a team player and he got it. In the end, he got it.
“There were certain things we did in training that made him do things he didn't want to do.
“Especially when the success came and after he moved to Real Madrid, there were certain things - when observing games at Madrid - that he definitely picked up at Manchester United.
“He was translating that further up the ladder of excellence. That's important and there's a satisfaction there.
“I don't claim to have created Cristiano Ronaldo. A lot of people have influenced him. But the biggest influence has been himself - his drive has been fantastic.”
Ronaldo went on to score 188 goals in 292 appearances at Old Trafford, where he won numerous and the Ballon d'Or in 2008.
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