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Real Madrid were reportedly able to poach Cristiano Ronaldo after the superstar made a gentleman’s agreement with legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
Ronaldo became a star with Manchester United after moving to Old Trafford from Sporting Lisbon, developing into one of the best players in the world.
The Portuguese international’s talents had not gone unnoticed by La Liga giants Madrid, who had long eyed a move for the United star as he continued to impress.
Red Devils boss Ferguson, though, had a tempestuous relationship with Los Blancos, even once stating that he would never sell a “virus” to “that mob”.
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But according to The Athletic that did not deter the Spanish side, who consistently attempted to ‘chip away’.
It is stated that Madrid steadily ramped up the pressure over time, beginning in 2006 following Ronaldo’s feud with United team-mate Wayne Rooney in the 2006 World Cup.
Ronaldo infamously ‘winked’ after Rooney had been sent off in the quarter-final match between England and Portugal, which the Three Lions went on to lose following a penalty shoot-out.
With Ronaldo eager to move to the Santiago Bernabeu, Ferguson finally relented and agreed to let the attacker leave Old Trafford.
Which club will Cristiano Ronaldo join next? Comment below.
The Athletic state that Ferguson made a “gentleman’s agreement” with Ronaldo and agent Jorge Mendes in 2008 to allow the player to move on.
That agreement had one major condition to it though – that Ronaldo should stay for one more season before finally joining Los Blancos.
The Portuguese star did just that, scoring 26 goals in 53 games as United won the Premier League and FA Cup double.
His final game for the club came in the 2009 Champions League final, in which the Red Devils were defeated by Barcelona.
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Ronaldo went on to complete his move to Madrid a matter of weeks later, for a then-world record fee of £80million.
He would stay at the Bernabeu for nine seasons and winning 15 trophies, before joining Serie A giants Juventus for £100m.
- Premier League
- Cristiano Ronaldo
- Sir Alex Ferguson
- La Liga
- Manchester United FC
- Real Madrid FC
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