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Fergie: We Kept Ron Another Year But He Wanted To Leave

Sir Alex Ferguson has today revealed the details of the conversation which lead to Cristiano Ronaldo being sold to Real Madrid.

“Ronaldo was sold simply because the boy wanted to leave,” said Ferguson. “I did well to keep him another year. When we sat down, you could see it in his eyes. He said: ‘Boss, I just want to play for Real Madrid, it’s nothing against Manchester United. I’m going to go because it will be an experience for me.’ The only reason he was sold was because the boy fervently wanted to leave. He played that extra season, did fantastically for us, and after the Cup final [against Barcelona] came to me and said: ‘Boss, I want to leave.’ I said: ‘Right, you’ve done another year, let me consider it.’ The next day an offer came in for £80m.”

Since leaving, Cristiano Ronaldo has had nothing but positive things to say about the club. Earlier this week he revealed that he may return to United after his contract with Real Madrid is up. Our manager revealed today that he is still in regular contact with our former star.

“I got a text from him last week saying: ‘I miss you so much’,” said Ferguson. “I’d texted him to say happy birthday. He was 24. And he said he missed me, and ‘thanks for all the kind things you’re saying about me’. You ­appreciate things like that. He had six years with me. We have to be grateful because he was a fantastic lad. Great lad. Popular in the dressing room, popular with the staff, and he made a great contribution to Manchester United. If he was going to leave, we made sure we got the best deal we could. We thought the structure of the club was good, with young players about the place, and players likely to improve. It’s like everything else: when a great player comes along, and then a great player leaves, there has to be a loss to a degree that you don’t realise until that loss is on your toes. And it was a loss, a major loss, but we have compensated in some ways. We’ve actually scored more goals this season than we did last year.”

These quotes come from an exclusive interview with Sir Alex Ferguson to mark the relaunch of The Observer.

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. n667 says:

    grass isnt tht green on the other side eh ronnie??? :P

  2. alpha_rs says:

    It’s a shame really as I believe he will be one of the most talented and brilliant players we have ever had on our books. Rooney’s game was over shadowed by Ronnie but now we are seeing Rooney come in to his own. The midfield is missing Ronnie’s invention and creativity though as they did all the donkey work for Ronnie. Wish him well at The Fascists but I believe it will be another case of Beckham where he will win next to nothing. Especially as The Fascists are full of too many individuals and not enough team.

  3. DEVILisRED says:

    é very bad taste i have since ronaldo have left had sudsided somewhat. i dunno y, probably time helps. probably é good things he had says since helpa. or perhaps i come to accept é fact that every person or player have their own love & wants, influence from their family, friends, upbringing etc. this boy grew up idolising Real, u got to respect that i guess. he did give SAF one more year. so fair play to him. he’ll never be happy if he doesnt get to join Real, juz like rooney wont accept is he didnt get his wishes to join us from his boyhood club everton.
    think if ronaldo does come back, it has to be é next 2-3 years è most, when fergie’s still in charge. his love for manchester united seems very much associated with SAF.

  4. fabioandrafael says:

    werent he 25

  5. JD says:

    lovely interview

  6. Zainab MUFC says:

    Lovee how he texts fergie, saying “I Miss you so much”. Thats so cute, & shows unlike that argiee twat , he loved this club with all his heart, still care’s about the club & foremost respects this club. I sorta miss Ronnie’s love me do persona @ United, he was quite a character.

  7. Costas says:

    Yep, Ronnie turned 25. Aw, that line about the text got me emotional. really. What I will always wonder, is why we didn’t bump his wages. Wouldn’t that have satisfied him and kept him at OT?

  8. King Eric says:

    Costas – Bumped his wage? You can see from the interview he clearly wanted to join the Fascists regardless. If all we have to do is throw money at players to make them stay that is a sad state of affairs. Rooney and Fletch would play for a tenner a week.

  9. GoatinaUnitedShirt says:

    The difference between a true proffesional and a snivling slimey twat (mentioning no names TEVEZ). He is a model pro and Im glad he wore the United shirt for as long as he did. He took alot of stick after the world cup but just got better. Alright he looks abit of a ponce but hes a decent guy and works hard, hats off to him.

  10. TonyBee says:

    King Eric….think Wazza would pay to play for us, he has been simply fantastic for us this year

  11. aig alex is god says:

    Thanks for staying Ronnie. helped us win another league title and nearly another European Cup. Sad that the last game ended in defeat against Barcelona.Would have been the perfect way to end his career


    Hi mate.

    He wanted to leave irrespective of his wages. Dont think it would have made much of a difference.His reasons for wanting to leave were very valid so i have no complaints against him

  12. Costas says:

    @AIG and King Eric

    I have my reservations about modern footballers and how much they love their teams guys. I am just wondering if we even tried to do make a tempting offer for Ronaldo. As far as Rooney goes, well, there will come a time when a proposal will have to be made. We will see then. I am not taking anything away from their commitment on the pitch. Not by any means. Just saying that they make their decisions based on money. And they have to since their careers take them only until their late 30s.

  13. Costas says:


    Oh and hey AIG. Got to go now. See you all later.

  14. dEVJE says:

    “I got a text from him last week saying: ‘I miss you so much’,”

    Thank God that wasn’t SAF’s wife who have read this msg

  15. MG says:

    Forget Ronaldo – we needed Phil Neville yesterday!

  16. Fred says:

    £80m straight to the banks. Best deal possible indeed. Thankyou, Mr Glazer.

  17. james f says:

    Where would United be without Sir Alex? How would our lives be without Sir Alex? They’d be duller, for sure. A big thanks to the man who brought so much success to our beloved United.

  18. Corea says:

    I would have missed him regardless of his good attitude towards the club. I miss his talent, i miss the years.

  19. King Eric says:

    Good grief some people really do seem distraught about Ronnie. Missing him and such like? Get a grip. I missed players like Eric and Keano not this pouting prick.

  20. karan_dravs85 says:

    @devje lmao !!
    Ron should be back, this aint no beckham scenario where the coach wanted him out. After a couple of years of winning nothing at Madrid, Ron will realize his mistake and wanna sign back.

  21. Corea says:

    King Eric – sad you consider me a glory hunter. just try to think a little bit and you will understand that we are all different. if i had to choose between Rooney and Ronaldo it would have been Rooney. If it was between Fletch and Ronaldo it would have been Fletch. Etc. But it’s so unnecessary to punish me if you consider what SAF thinks about the man.

  22. aig alex is god says:


    Hi mate. Hope you are doing well

    remember it mate. There are some rules both of us most follow

    Dont praise Ronaldo or say you miss him.He didnt do much for us,did he?.Always be positive.We have a divine right of not losing games. Dont ever slag any players even if they are woeful at times as some of them yesterday were.Just an off day. We have only had 6-8 of them this season which isnt much

  23. Fze123 says:

    He misses us more than we miss him. Regarding his comments since he left us and his body language, it’s pretty obvious that he has come to realise that leaving Utd was a dear mistake. He said before that Fergie is a father figure to him, so no wonder he misses him; like any son would miss his father when they are far apart.

  24. Fze123 says:

    Before I wasn’t too convinced about his possible return but now I do think he may want to come, maybe when he is 28 or something. I just hope that by then he wouldn’t have won a single trophy with the facists. Wishful thinking. :)

  25. ProperMancsAreRed says:

    Unlike Tevez, he left the club with dignity and has spoken with nothing else than respect for United since. The man we will really miss when the time comes is Fergie. Any other manager would have been struggling somewhere around 5th – 8th in the table with the injuries we’ve had this season.

    I think we might do a Barcelona and bring someone in who’s been in the club for quite a while.. Brucey? Ole? Keano? what do you reckon, lads?

  26. Toms says:

    Naturally we lose 1 game to a very good team and the Ronnie hysteria starts up again. Don’t get me wrong… we were more entertaining with ronaldo in our side… but this is just getting annoying.

  27. kel says:

    Not sure why. I was touched when reading. I do hope he can come back more often and watch the team play and meet with fergie. Every successful players eventually miss Old Trafford. You can see many ex players still connected to our club.

  28. Corea says:

    aig alex is god – hi, pal. sorry for the late answer. been watching biathlon at Olympics. i’m fine. and yes, we are different.

  29. Xyth says:

    Ron could have signed another contract, stayed for another 2-3 seasons, become a United legend by helping win few more titles and Champions Leagues and only then go on to become a fascist!!!!

  30. MUFCUM says:

    Luv ya Ronnie.

    Great interview

  31. King Eric says:

    Corea – Pardon? I have not once called you a glory hunter mate. not at all.

  32. King Eric says:

    aig – Its nothing to do with “rules” as you put to Corea. Personally I just find it hard to miss Ronaldo. I thought he was and is a fucking fantastic player but I certainly don’t miss him in anyway. As I said Eric and Keane and Ole and players like that are the players I miss. Watching the fascists tonight and you only had to look at him. Got in a strop when Alonso wouldn’t let him take a pen that he had actually dived for.

  33. Always Be Closing says:

    Indeed, I don’t miss The Ronaldo Show, not one bit. Gives other players the chance to shine and to see the team playing (no ‘I’ in ‘team’).

  34. Datnana says:

    Ron just wanted to play for them. He has now, and wants back. Dream fulfilled.

  35. Corea says:

    King Eric – hi. it was a figurative expression, mate. no offence taken. i just want some of the people here to understand the difference between missing a person and missing the days, the goals, the football. you know there are things you just can’t control. sometimes you miss the days of your childhood even if those days weren’t the best of your life.
    i respect you but “get a grip” it’s not fair.

    When i say Hargo is one of my favorite players it only means that i like him as a player, like his personality and like his way of playing football. Again for me it is something pretty obvious and doesn’t deserve punishment from the people who are much closer to the club than i am.

  36. Bobkoh says:

    I dunno, players leave & they’re forgotten. But with Ronnie, it seems like he’s on loan & will be back. Honest, I feel this way even before all these talk about him saying he’ll like to come back near the end of his career.

  37. vozi edward Yugulle says:

    all these nice talks from ron are coming after achieving his so called childhood dream of playing for madrid. but before that he said loads of shit while pushing for his move away from us. anyone recalls when he: openly criticised fergie’s tactics after the defeat to barca?, agreed with Blatter that he was being treated like a slave?, said scolari advised not to miss a train coz it passes only once? how about his general attitude at the club?

  38. mara says:

    I feel very bad taste when i see him scores for RM…that stupi circus!

  39. willierednut says:

    Great player for us but he’s gone now and i wouldn’t want him back.

  40. ZeeZee says:

    Greatest player ever!

  41. Rai says:

    Favourite Ronnie moment….that last minute solo goal vs Fulham when we came from 1-0 down to win :)

    Best goal….Porto :) Absolutely crazy!!

  42. manchuchu says:

    Real Madrid: Where careers go to die.

  43. Orez says:

    I missed big time. TBH I started appriciating Rooney much more this year, but Ronaldo was something else. No other player has ever exited me so much. He was arrogant, but man he was one amazing player. I think with discipline he would have a chance to become the best ever player, but I doubt he will be able to do it in Madrid now.

  44. LOMO says:

    I am just wondering, when was his last goal for us ? was it against shitty or the gooners in the ch.league semi final ?

  45. eleventh heaven says:

    when was the last time he scored for us ? was it against shitty or that champs.league semi final game against arsenal ?

  46. willierednut says:

    Fcuk ronaldo, viva rooneyyyyyyyyyyyyy.

  47. Rooney22United says:

    Ronaldo never seemed happy with his teammates playing for Madrid…I wonder why? Lol… he must be regretting this move to a certain extent.

  48. Fred says:

    LOMO/eleventh heaven – Ronaldo’s last goal for us was against Shitty at Old Trafford.

  49. mara says:

    I wouldn t say that his career ig going to die…he plays well and scores like at United


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