Sunday, 18 November 2012

Alex Ferguson: I want to sign Cristiano Ronaldo again

Alex Ferguson wants Cristiano Ronaldo back at Old Trafford.

The United boss is still in touch with his former wideman, who returns to Manchester this week to face City, and refuses to give up hope of luring him back under his wing.

Ronaldo scored 118 goals in 292 games for the Reds after Fergie paid Sporting Lisbon £12.24m to land him in 2003 as an 18-year-old.

And even though the Portuguese star forced his way out to Real Madrid in 2009, Ronaldo has remained on friendly terms with his old boss.

That friendship has persuaded Ferguson to believe he might be able to snatch the superstar back when he feels ready to quit Spain.

He said: “I speak to him quite regularly. He’s always available and wishing us well and we’d be the first team he looks for, there’s no doubt about that.

“Could he come back? I don’t think it will happen but I would like to think it would."

Ferguson believes the biggest stumbling block would be finding the fee. United sold Ronaldo to Real Madrid for £80m and he now feels that price looks like a bargain.

He added: "You’re talking about incredible amounts of money now. What would his value be?

"He’s a fit boy, he’s never injured and he never misses a game.

"Who could afford him? One of the Russian teams could buy him but do you think he’d want to go to Russia?

"He complained about the weather here, you can imagine him in the winter in Russia!"

Ferguson's fondness of Ronaldo comes from his admiration of a god-given talent that was perfected by hours of work on the training pitches at Carrington.

He added: "He’s an unbelievable player; one of the best. I know we’ve had a great planting of fantastic players but there’s no question that Ronaldo compares with any of them.

"He was only 24 when he left us and his goalscoring record is quite amazing, even with us.

"In his last season with us he made five chances in every match. Every match he had five opportunities created by himself – strikes at goal, a goal, a missed chance, he was easily averaging five a game and we always played him as a wide player.

"In many ways he manufactured himself although he had a natural talent.

"He practiced and practiced. He had a bit of the Cantona about him in that way and Scholesy and all of the players that came through at that time.

"Scholesy still goes out after  training and he’ll whack a few balls about and do some shooting or free-kicks with the players. You build up a mechanism where it becomes a habit with these players and it became a habit for them to do something after training.”

Ronaldo also impresses Ferguson with his ability to handle living in the spotlight.

The star has managed to keep his form despite being the focus of attention from defenders and media in equal proportions.

“We never had any problem with the fame side of things and him," Ferguson said.

"He liked looking himself in the mirror a wee bit and the players would give him stick for that but that’s a small handicap if he had any!"

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