Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has revealed how he begged former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford during the summer transfer window.
United were linked with the £80 million man during the last transfer window and made enquiries into the possibility of signing the Real Madrid forward.
Ferdinand revealed that he barraged Ronaldo’s phone with messages during the summer transfer window in an attempt to lure the former United number seven back to Old Trafford.
“He was one of the most dialled people on my phone at the time,” Ferdinand told the Daily Mirror.
“If he was going to leave Real Madrid, I think Manchester United would have been the place he would have come to.”
United fan’s still sing his name from the terraces mainly because during his six years at Old Trafford Ronaldo won the Champions League, three Premier League titles, one FA Cup and two League Cups as well as scoring 118 goals in 292 appearances.
However the former England captain now admits the chance to sign the 2008 Ballon d’Or winner has gone after the 28-year-old signed a new five-year contract at Real Madrid in September.
“I think the opportunity has gone now, if we could have done it, I think it would have been last summer he’s signed a new deal at Real now.”
The former fan’s favourite returned to break Manchester United fans hearts last season when he scored the winner in Real Madrid’s 2-1 round of 16 Champions League victories to knock the Red Devils out of the competition.
Ronaldo’s efforts for Real Madrid last season means that he is currently one of three favourites for this year’s FIFA Ballon d’Or award which will be announced on Monday in Zurich.
Ferdinand believes Ronaldo has improved since leaving United and claims he is now the best player on the planet and is the favourite for the prestigious award.
“Look at his goals, he’s scored more goals than some clubs have in the calendar year.
“He is a great model to any young player to look up to, being World Player of the Year back in 2008 and didn’t satisfied him and he now wants to become the best player in the world again.
“He’s still got people doubting him – maybe there’s a jealousy element to it – and he wants to prove them people wrong that’s how you become the best.”
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