Solskjaer and Fernandes laud Man Utd attacking talent
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Legendary Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson had a three-word message for Cristiano Ronaldo which forced the iconic striker to snub rivals Manchester City, with the two clubs preparing to clash on Saturday. An incredible summer transfer window saga saw Ronaldo return to the Red Devils 12 years after his initial departure to Real Madrid.
Ronaldo sensationally decided to leave Juventus around a week before the end of the transfer window.
Man City initially led the race to sign the Portugal captain, prompting fury on the red side of Manchester.
However, 24 hours after reports of City’s interest broke, it became clear that United had jumped ahead of their local foes.
Ronaldo had departed Old Trafford in 2009 in a then-world record £80m transfer to LaLiga giants Real. His return to United was confirmed on transfer deadline day and he has been one of United’s best performers this term.
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The 36-year-old veteran has scored nine goals in 12 appearances, including the late equaliser against Champions League rivals Atalanta in midweek.
He also rifled home a terrific volley in United’s important 3-0 victory over Tottenham last Saturday. The victory helped boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer keep his job.
And it has now been revealed how former manager Ferguson convinced Ronaldo to snub a controversial transfer to City and instead complete a reported £20million switch back to Old Trafford.
According to the Daily Star, the 79-year-old caught wind of rumours linking Ronaldo to the Premier League champions and decided to call his former player.
Ferguson said “don’t join City” before hanging up. The three-word message from the iconic figure clearly had a big impact on Ronaldo, who initially signed for United under Ferguson in 2003 and went on to play 292 times for the Scot.
And it has been an inspired signing, with Ronaldo scoring several important goals under Solskjaer.
The Norwegian compared the striker to NBA legend Michael Jordan after he scored a brace against Atalanta.
“We all have our roles and responsibilities. Cristiano is a leader in the group, he scores goals,” the 48-year-old said.
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“I’m sure Chicago Bulls didn’t mind having Michael Jordan either. Sometimes the teams have the players they have and that’s why they are Manchester United.
“You come up with those moments. Cristiano is getting better and better for us, he’s feeling better and up to speed now.”
Ronaldo said upon signing: “Manchester United is a club that has always had a special place in my heart, and I have been overwhelmed by all the messages I have received since the announcement.
“I cannot wait to play at Old Trafford in front of a full stadium and see all the fans again.
“I’m looking forward to joining up with the team after the international games, and I hope we have a very successful season ahead.”
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