Cristiano Ronaldo won the Ballon d’Or for the second time last night, becoming only the second person (after the Brazilian Ronaldo) to win the award twice with as much as a five year gap.

In the lead up to the awards there were lots of reports on Rio Ferdinand trying to convince Ronaldo to return to Manchester.

“He was one of the most dialled people on my phone at the time,” Rio admitted. “As footballers you keep your cards close to your chest. If he was going to leave Real Madrid, I think Manchester United would have been the place he would have come to. That’s my view – but no one will ever know. I think the opportunity has gone now. If we could have done it, I think it would have been last summer. He’s signed a new deal at Real now.”

Rio later took to Twitter to claim that the comments came from an interview he did in September but were only coming to light now.

However, last night, Ronaldo confirmed that he did speak to Rio a lot over the summer and did consider a United return.

“It was true that Rio spoke to me a lot,” Ronaldo said. “Rio is a great friend of mine, we played many years together at Manchester United and we were neighbours when I was there in Manchester. He’s a fantastic guy and tried to change my mind. I did think about United. They are still in my heart. It’s a club where I played for six years and I love that club. I have a lot of friends there and I wish them the best.”