What Sir Alex Did During Ronaldo’s First Old Trafford Return

Sir Alex Ferguson (L) speaks to Cristiano Ronaldo.

REUTERS/Sergio Perez

Sir Alex Ferguson was the master of mind games, and he didn’t even spare the best player he nurtured at Old Trafford.

The legendary Manchester United boss was one of the best managers on and off the field. The Scot’s tactics revolutionized English footballing style, and brought in an era of dominance for the Red Devils in the Premier League.

Ferguson was known to play mind games with his rivals on a regular basis. He wanted to gain the upper hand on players or managers even before the game began, and wished to employ shroud methods to get into their heads.

One such instance occurred back in 2013, when Cristiano Ronaldo returned to Old Trafford with Real Madrid.

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Sir Alex used a number of psychological tricks to put the player off his game. The Scot sent United’s former kitman, Albert Morgan, to greet Ronaldo as he stepped down from the team bus.

Just seconds before kick-off, the United gaffer also asked the stadium announcer, Alan Keegan, to call out the names of the Manchester United players at the beginning, which had never happened at Old Trafford before.

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This meant that Ronaldo’s name was the last to be called out. As expected, the United supporters welcomed their former star-man ecstatically, and chanted ‘Viva Ronaldo’ soon after.

Some believe that Ferguson purposely tweaked things so that he could put Cristiano off even before the game started.

And it worked well, as Ronaldo struggled to keep the ball under control on multiple occasions. But the Portuguese did manage to keep his calm, and eventually scored the decisive goal which broke SAF’s dream of winning his third Champions League title.