Ronaldo: Ferguson taught me how to be a footballer

The prolific attacker has nothing but praise for his former manager, but is confident that Madrid can reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo has hailed the role of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson in his successes over recent years.

The Portugal international worked with Ferguson during his spell at United from 2003 until 2009, and he has not forgotten about his former mentor.

“He is the coach who taught me how to be a footballer. I arrived in Manchester when I was just 18 remember,” Ronaldo told Times of India.

“He directed my career in the best possible way and for me he’s one of the most important people in the world of football. I have a great relationship with him and it will be good to see him again.

“Ferguson and Jose Mourinho are both great managers, both experienced, and both always want to win everything they can. That’s why they have been champions so many times.”

The prolific attacker then went on to discuss Tuesday’s return to Old Trafford, and stressed that even though United still hold a special place in his heart, he is desperate to come out victorious in the second leg of the Champions League round of 16 tie.

“Manchester was my home and is still in my heart. I love the place. You never forget when people treat you right. You never forget the people who work there and the fans.

“So I’m very happy to return to Manchester. It’s going to be special but of course I am going there to try and win with Real.

“More than anyone I know how difficult it is going to be, because I know how good United are and they have an amazing manager in Sir Alex Ferguson. I have a feeling we will win, because in my mind Real Madrid are the better team.”

Madrid were held to a 1-1 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu in the first leg. Tuesday’s return is scheduled to kick off at 20:45CET.

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