Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo Nutmegs Real Madrid Teammate In Training Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo once informed his Manchester United teammates back in 2009 about his intentions to leave the club and join Real Madrid, according to co-player Luís Carlos Almeida da Cunha ComM popularly called Nani.

Ronaldo joined Man Utd in 2003, he won tons of awards and titles, including three Premier League trophies and the Champions League. He also took home the Red Devils' first Ballon d'Or since George Best in 1968.

After some time, the Portuguese football legend decided there was more to explore and opportunities to look out for in the world. Alex Ferguson quickly became aware of the situation, and it wasn't long before Real Madrid piled the pressure on Manchester United to sell. However, Ferguson regained control and forced Ronaldo to stay at Old Trafford for another season.

Ferguson recalled the time, and he said, "Real Madrid paid £80m in cash for him [in 2009] and do you know why? It was a way for Florentino Perez, their president, to say to the world: 'We are Real Madrid, we are the biggest of the lot.'"

"Ramon Calderon, Perez's predecessor, had claimed the previous year that Cristiano would one day be a Real Madrid player. I went to Carlos Queiroz's house in Portugal to find the boy expressing an urge to go to Real Madrid, and told him: 'You can't go this year, not after the way Calderon has approached this issue'." he continued. "I said: 'I know you want to go to Real Madrid but I'd rather shoot you than sell you to that guy now. If you perform, don't mess us about, and someone comes and offers a world record fee, then we will let you go.'"

Ferguson did calm him down. He told Ronaldo that he refused to sell him that year because of Calderon. Despite Ferguson's direct and blunt response, Ronaldo continued to pressure his boss to let him leave. Ronaldo wasn't discouraged by the initial setback. He even informed his United teammates of his intentions, according to Nani.

Nani recalled that they would stay at the end of training for competitions. They seemed to be best friends and somewhat more comfortable with each other. He said that there were days when Ronaldo openly told them that he was planning to leave Man Utd.

Ferguson indeed kept his intention to keep Ronaldo in Manchester United. However, at the end of the 2009 season, Ronaldo was allowed to leave the club for Real Madrid. He was a part of Real Madrid from 2009 until 2018.

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on December 5, 2021 in Manchester, England. Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

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