The summer of 2006 was a very stressful time for United fans. Ronaldo was blamed for England’s exit from the World Cup, after being one of the five Portugese players to crowd the ref as it appeared his team mate got stamped on the bollocks by Rooney. It appeared as though there was no hope in keeping Ronaldo, with Real Madrid and Barcelona more than happy to take the player of our hands.

Ronaldo has confirmed again today that United fans have Ferguson to thank for keeping him at the club.

“Sir Alex is a very caring coach and I have a relationship with him that goes far beyond what is usual between a player and the coach,” Ronaldo said. “In fact, I can even say I signed for United because of him and it is down to him that I am still with United in England. At the end of last season (2005/06) he was one of the most influential people in my decision.”

Newspapers all over Europe were quoting Ronaldo as saying he wanted to leave United, but wasn’t sure to which club yet. He feared the reaction he was going to get in England, after family members were abused in the street and their homes vandalised.

“There are moments in life when we all react on impulse when it would be wiser to stop, take a breath and think in a more rational way,” Ronaldo added. “That’s what I should have done after all that controversy concerning Rooney and me. I acted in haste when I said there were no circumstances under which I would stay. Everybody makes mistakes. But the story had a happy ending. I assure you the best is yet to come. And the best will be more titles, which are the icing on the cake.”

Will he stay forever? Probably not. But I am more than happy to see him running down our wings and helping us win trophies over the next few years. He’s starting to think and play like a proper red, and long may that continue!