In a recent interview former Manchester United fullback Fabio Da Silva has revealed what advice he was given prior to making his Red Devils debut by a certain Cristiano Ronaldo.
Fabio arrived at Old Trafford with his brother Rafael from Brazilian side Fluminense in January 2008 at the tender age of 17.
United had fought off interest from Arsenal to sign the pair who would both go on to become full internationals for Brazil.
After making his debut in January 2009 in an FA Cup win over Tottenham, the Brazilian would be used sparingly over the next five years, racking up 56 appearances while scoring three times.
After leaving Old Trafford, Fabio enjoyed spells with Cardiff and Middlesbrough and now plies his trade in Ligue 1 with FC Nantes.
But it was prior to his debut that the now 31-year-old remembers a fellow Portuguese speaker offering him advice:
“Ronaldo helped me a lot there.” Fabio told ESPN Brasil.
“I didn’t speak English at all, or practically nothing. Not even water. He helped me and my brother a lot. I’m very grateful to him. My first game, I don’t forget, against Tottenham, I was 18 years old. I have a photo with him to this day.”
“Before the game, he came to me, hugged me and said: ‘From the middle to the front, you can do whatever you want. From the middle to the back, don’t try to do anything, because you might lose the ball and I can’t get it back for you’. Those were the words he used.”
This interaction clearly meant a lot to the Brazilian and as a result he obviously holds his former teammate in very high regard:
“It shows how much he helps and will help young people at Manchester United. That’s why I thought his signing was super right. Young people seeing the 36-year-old guy, working, running, for everything he’s achieved.”
Yet another former player with only good things to say about Ronaldo, let’s hope he can offer the same advice and guidance to some of United’s current up and coming stars.