Jose Mourinho, who once ripped Cristiano Ronaldo to shreds in the media when he was a young lad, insulting his supposed lower class background and poor education, has today jumped to his defence.

Now, as manager of Real Madrid, he has noticed what United fans witnessed for years, that Ronaldo gets kicked from pillar to post every game with little punishment imposed on the wrong do-ers.

“Cristiano is a player who does not have the culture of the swimming pool, he has no culture of simulation, he is a British-trained player, Ferguson trained,” said Mourinho. “In some cases, the simulators are given more protection, and those who are honest are often the losers. I’m not a hypocrite if I say that they hit Cristiano very hard, and that the yellow cards do not arrive or are slow in coming.”

His praise for the way Ferguson makes our players behave comes in direct contrast with the job he did whilst Chelsea manager.

After leaving the club in 2008, he acknowledge what a cheat Didier Drogba is.

“I am no longer Chelsea coach, and I do not have to defend them any more, but I think it is correct if I say Drogba is a diver.”