Former Manchester United star, Phil Neville, has claimed that Cristiano Ronaldo has him to thank for his rise to stardom.
Ronaldo joined United in 2003, after impressing during a friendly game while he was with Sporting Lisbon.
It was a preseason friendly, and the Portugal forward’s first game for his club’s senior team. But his performance was so good that even Neville had a hard time dealing with him.
Speaking recently to Sky Sports, Neville said Ronaldo’s eventual move to Old Trafford was a result of his failure to deal with him during that game, and the forward owes him a ‘thank you’ for it.
He said, “I think Cristiano’s got to thank me a lot you know because I played in that game in Sporting Lisbon when he kept dancing past me down that wing.
“The game when after the game Sir Alex signed him in the dressing room.
“I played in that game and you witnessed in 90 minutes someone that was going to be very special, no doubt about it, and it’s not often you can say that about someone.
“So I just hope he comes up to me after a game and says thanks for your efforts in helping me get where I am today.”
Ronaldo scored an impressive 118 goals for United before leaving to join Real Madrid in 2009. He also won four UEFA Champions Leagues with the Spanish giants.