Ronaldo film reveals Ferguson’s 50% promise

Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed that a promise by former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson that he would play in 50 per cent of the club’s games prompted him to move to Old Trafford in 2003. In a new documentary about his career, Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes says that Ferguson’s offer was key in encouraging the winger, then an 18-year-old rising star at Sporting Lisbon, to reject rival offers from clubs including Barcelona and Inter Milan.

The Portuguese, under the guidance of Sir Alex, spent six years at United, winning three Premier League titles, the 2008 Champions League and his first Ballon d’Or, before joining Madrid in a world-record transfer in 2009.   -  Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed that a promise by former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson that he would play in 50 per cent of the club’s games prompted him to move to Old Trafford in 2003.

In a new documentary about his career, Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes says that Ferguson’s offer was key in encouraging the winger, then an 18-year-old rising star at Sporting Lisbon, to reject rival offers from clubs including Barcelona and Inter Milan.

Speaking at a press conference in London on Monday to mark the launch of the film, Ronaldo said: “When Sir Alex Ferguson said, ‘Cristiano, I want you to come to Manchester United, you’re going to play 50 per cent of the games,’ it made me feel comfortable and I said, ‘Wow.’ Because at 18-years-old, to play 50 per cent of the games, was unbelievable for me.

“I took that decision because Jorge helped me to take that decision and of course the last word of Sir Alex Ferguson was the key to sign for Manchester United.”

The Real Madrid superstar added: “As I say many times, with Manchester United I have a great passion.

“I say that every time. What Jorge did to me, when I was 18, to put me in one of the best clubs in the world, with the words of Sir Alex Ferguson, I never dreamt (it was possible).”

Ronaldo spent six years at United, winning three Premier League titles, the 2008 Champions League and his first Ballon d’Or, before joining Madrid in a world-record transfer in 2009.

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