Cristiano Ronaldo and Sir Alex Ferguson would rule the world, says Quinton Fortune

Comments()
Getty Images
Ronaldo joined Man United as an 18-year-old in 2003, and Fortune was there to see the Portuguese attacker grow as a player

Former Manchester United and Bafana midfielder Quinton Fortune has recalled how Cristiano Ronaldo terrorised his teammates at the Estádio José Alvalade over a decade ago prior to moving to Old Trafford.

Ronaldo, who was on the books of Sporting Lisbon before Man United signed, shone against the then Sir Alex Ferguson's side and the retired coach signed him five days after losing to the Portuguese outfit in the Uefa Champions League in 2003. 

And Fortune admits that none of his Man United teammates wanted to face Ronaldo at the time.  

"The first time I saw Ronaldo, he was terrorising us from every angle - and you're thinking: 'Don't come my side'," Fortune told Observer.

"Afterwards in the changing room players were saying: 'What did we just witness?' He was absolutely amazing."

Ronaldo returns to Old Trafford for first time since joining Serie A giants Juventus, who top the standings with six points from their opening two matches.   

Fortune witnessed Ronaldo's magic as his opponent and also his teammates soon after the Portugal international moved to the Premier League

"I remember watching the boss's reaction after the game. He was smiling, as if to say: 'What is this we just witnessed?'," recalled Fortune. 

The former Bolton Wanderers playmaker feels Sir Alex Ferguson nurtured Ronaldo to be the player he is today.

"Sir Alex nurtured him. He couldn't have asked for a better foundation and support. And together, oh my goodness, those two would rule the world. It was a perfect combination."

"Ronaldo came with so much confidence, it was unbelievable. He walked in the changing room and basically told everyone he's the best. Not in perfect English but you could make it out. That set him above all the young players and he could back it up with his work ethic and ability. Even at that age he wanted to be better at everything. If you did something in training he'd practise and come back and do it," added Fortune. 

Article continues below

Fortune added that Ronaldo was cocky in the dressing room but he said senior players such as Roy Keane, Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes didn't have a problem with that.  

"Cristiano might have been walking around saying he's the best - yes, he was cocky - that was just Ronaldo. And once a young, or any, player backs it up in the game, there isn't a question mark," concluded Fortune. 

Close