'Ronaldo is not selfish, he supported me non-stop' – former Man Utd defender Fabio

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The Portugal star is often cited as being egotistical but his former team-mate feels he owes a great deal of his career success to the 34-year-old

Former Manchester United full-back Fabio da Silva has praised Cristiano Ronaldo for helping him and brother Rafael settle in at Old Trafford, stating that the Juventus star in very unselfish in nature.

The Brazilian pair joined the Red Devils in 2008 and spent six years together at the club, with Rafa staying an additional season before swapping the Premier League for Ligue 1 football with Lyon in 2015.

Fabio also plies his trade in France these days with Nantes, having spent time with Cardiff and Middlesbrough in between.

At 28 years old, the pair are well travelled these days, but their initial integration in Europe could have been very different if it had not been for a certain Portuguese attacker.

“Some people were incredibly kind to us, like Darren Fletcher,” Fabio told ESPN. “He helped us a lot and we're still friends.

“Rio Ferdinand and Cristiano, who spoke Portuguese, were also a big help – we didn't know a single word of English.

“I've heard Cristiano called selfish, but he gave us non-stop advice both on and off the pitch.

“When I made my debut against Tottenham, I played alongside him. Cristiano told me not to take any risks in our half because he might not be able to get back to help me.

“Then he said, 'When you get into the opponents' half, you can do whatever you like'. With Cristiano supporting me, I felt so positive.”

Fabio went on to talk about another Brazilian who was in the ranks at the time, Anderson, who he cites as a great person and friend, although noted that his offers of support were a tad more questionable than those of Ronaldo.

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“Anderson was another great friend. Cristiano and Fletch were older and more serious, Anderson was my age,” he said.

“We'd go to a Brazilian restaurant with Anderson and he offered to teach us English for free, which was nice of him, but his own English was not the best! He did teach us lots of swear words in English though!

“Everyone loved Anderson, he has the biggest heart. Even now, we have a group chat of former players and Anderson is in there, still writing in English and still using words that only he understands!”

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