Phelan claims that Man Utd had to teach 'Ronaldo to be a team player'
Mike Phelan claims Manchester United had to teach Cristiano Ronaldo ‘to be a team player’ to help turn him into a global superstar
- Cristiano Ronaldo joined Manchester United as a raw teenager back in 2003
- While very talented, he posed the coaching staff some challenges at the club
- The Portuguese international would go on to become one of the world’s best
Manchester United had to force Cristiano Ronaldo to do ‘things he didn’t want to’ to turn him into the global superstar he is today, according to Mike Phelan.
The Portuguese star has gone on to become one of the world’s greatest ever footballers, but as a raw lightweight prospect at Old Trafford, he posed the club’s coaches some challenges.
Phelan, who was part of that coaching team and still is today, has explained how they had to transform Ronaldo into a team player to ensure that he could realise his potential.
Cristiano Ronaldo joined Manchester United as a highly-rated teenager back in 2003
Ronaldo posed the club’s coaches some challenges as they tried to make him a team player
Mike Phelan (L), who still coaches at the club, said that Ronaldo was like a ‘sponge’ at the club
The United coach told The Coaching Manual Youtube channel: ‘Ronaldo stood out. He was like a sponge. He wanted more (advice from the team’s coaches). He challenged you for more.
‘We had to try and get Cristiano to be a team player and he got it. In the end he got it.
‘There were certain things we did in training that made him do things he didn’t want to do.
RONALDO’S CAREER STATS
(All Competitions & All Clubs)
‘Especially when the success came and after he moved to Real Madrid, there were certain things – when observing games at Madrid – that he definitely picked up at Manchester United.
‘He was translating that further up the ladder of excellence. That’s important and there’s a satisfaction there.
‘I don’t claim to have created Cristiano Ronaldo. A lot of people have influenced him. But the biggest influence has been himself, his drive has been fantastic.
The Portuguese star won four Champions Leagues at Real Madrid to take his total to five
Ronaldo, now plying his trade at Juventus, is considered one of the greatest players of all time
Ronaldo would spend six successful years at Old Trafford scoring 118 goals in 292 appearances for the club.
He also helped the club to win three Premier League titles and a Champions League along the way, as well as his first Ballon d’Or triumph in 2008.
He has gone on to have more success at both Real Madrid and Juventus where he has taken his game to greater heights, winning the Champions League and Ballon d’Or four times each during his time at Madrid.
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