Ronaldo had to do ‘things he didn’t want to’ in bid for Man Utd stardom

Manchester United coach Mike Phelan has lifted the lid on how he helped Cristiano Ronaldo become one of the best players in the world.

The Juventus star moved to United from Sporting Lisbon at the age of just 18 but was instantly a hit at Old Trafford, and he spent six hugely successful seasons at the club before moving onto Real Madrid.

Phelan was Sir Alex Ferguson's right-hand man at the time, and speaking to The Coaching Manual he explained that pushed Ronaldo to do things that he was not keen to initially.

"Ronaldo stood out," Phelan said. "He was like a sponge. He wanted more (advice from the team's coaches). He challenged you for more.

"We had to try and get Cristiano to be a team player and he got it. In the end he got it.

"There were certain things we did in training that made him do things he didn't want to do.

"Especially when the success came and after he moved to Real Madrid, there were certain things – when observing games at Madrid – that he definitely picked up at Manchester United.

"He was translating that further up the ladder of excellence. That's important and there's a satisfaction there.

"I don't claim to have created Cristiano Ronaldo. A lot of people have influenced him. But the biggest influence has been himself, his drive has been fantastic."


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