When Cristiano Ronaldo joined Manchester United in the summer, it was rumoured that Sir Alex Ferguson had helped to make it happen.
Ronaldo was all set for a move to Manchester City but overnight, the tables turned and United brought the Portuguese international home.
The Athletic, one of the most reliable sources in the British media, claims that Fergie, who celebrated his 80th Birthday just yesterday, called owner, Joel Glazer directly to persuade United to hijack the transfer.
Sources say that Ferguson found it “Unconscionable” that Ronaldo might cross Manchester and play for their arch rivals and so, though he seldom speaks to United’s owners, he decided to make the call.
Former team mate Rio Ferdinand also reached out to the Portuguese international but it was Fergie’s bond with him that helped secure the transfer, the outlet reveals.
Once he had rejoined the Reds, Ronaldo and Sir Alex took part in a joint interview on MUTV.
Ronaldo reflected on his first spell at the club saying, “Everything that he said to me, he did.”
Sir Alex’s influence over the club and indeed over his former players can’t be denied. Ronaldo said, “I always say that for me he’s like a father for me in football.”
Though he often keeps himself to himself now as he enjoys retirement, he occasionally speaks up to protect the club he served for so long and to protect the integrity of the beautiful game.
Sir Alex also influenced the collapse of the European Super League back in April as he spoke out against it before it had officially been launched.
The confirmation of his involvement in the Ronaldo transfer will be unsurprising to most fans but they will take comfort knowing this club legend is still pulling strings when necessary, behind the scenes at United.