Cristiano Ronaldo Was Given A Flinty Treatment At Manchester United Admits Former Coach


Former Manchester United coach Tony Coton has revealed that Cristiano Ronaldo, upon his arrival at Manchester United, was given a flinty treatment so that he could grow physically strong.

Back in 2003, following the sale of David Beckham to Real Madrid, Alex Ferguson identified a young and skinny boy from Portugal as the number 7’s replacement. The boy from Sporting was soon handed the iconic number 7 shirt, despite the fact that he was only 17.

Filling the void was one thing but Ronaldo also had the task of moulding himself in the rigours of the Premier League. He would easily go down to ground crying for a foul and when not given, Coton said: “he’d throw his hands up in outrage and sit on the turf muttering Portuguese curses while the game continued.”

Being not so physically strong, Ronaldo was initially bullied by his opponents and Ferguson soon caught his frailty and asked his training coaches to work on it. United were then blessed with a brawny lineup and former United coach Tony Coton has revealed that in order to toughen him up, Ferguson asked the likes of Roy Keane and Rio Ferdinand to literally blast at him whenever he goes to ground.

Coton was quoted by M.E.N as saying,

“Ferguson showed what he thought of this kid Ronaldo by handing him the club’s iconic No7 shirt when he signed him in 2003. But just as important was the gaffer’s ability to recognize his weaknesses.

“One flaw was his habit of falling to the floor like a rag doll every time he lost a tackle. Sir Alex embarked on a mission to toughen him up. Members of the coaching staff were encouraged to turn a blind eye if they saw Ronaldo being fouled in practice matches and small-sided games.

“These games were intense and no prisoners were taken. Poor Ronaldo didn’t know what hit him as team-mates he’d been sharing a joke with him gave him the kind of treatment that was no laughing matter.

“When a free-kick was not forthcoming, he’d throw his hands up in outrage and sit on the turf muttering Portuguese curses while the game continued around him. Toughened pros like Roy Keane, Rio Ferdinand would lambast him for being soft. It was tough love and slowly but surely, the message began to seep into our winger’s consciousness.”

Ferguson was a mastermind without the slightest of a doubt and claiming that the Scot made Ronaldo what he is today will be the very least to say. Of course, credit must be given to Ronaldo’s patience and his hard-work, but it would be an utter understatement, claiming that Ferguson was the architect behind Ronaldo’s growth. What Coton just revealed is a perfect specimen of the claim.