Manchester United

Throwback to when Cristiano Ronaldo openly told Man Utd he wanted to leave

Mudeet Arora
Ronaldo directly told Manchester United of his desire to leave for Real Madrid
Ronaldo directly told Manchester United of his desire to leave for Real Madrid / RAFA RIVAS/GettyImages

Cristiano Ronaldo had absolutely no second thoughts on informing his Manchester United teammates back in 2009 that he wanted to leave the Old Trafford club and move to Real Madrid.

That's according to Nani, who was Ronaldo's teammate at United right until 2009 when he left for Los Blancos.

"We would stay at the end of training to do competitions and they [Anderson and Ronaldo] were my teammates, everyone has best friends or some they feel more comfortable with and they were my support," explained Nani when revealed the chain of events on Manchester United’s official podcast.

"Some days he [Ronaldo] was telling us openly, 'I'm here six or seven years now, I think it's enough for me.' He said that a couple of times.

"But it was always, 'I will see, I will see, I will see' but we never thought it [Real Madrid move] would happen so fast. After we won the league in the second year he left, he produced a great season so we were still surprised." 

Sir Alex Ferguson also came to know of the situation and in his autobiography, he explained how he ensured Ronaldo stayed at United for another season before letting him go to Real Madrid.

Ferguson recalled: "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'.

"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.'

"I did well to calm him down. I told him the reason I was refusing to sell him that year was because of Calderon.

"I said: 'If I do that, my honour's gone, everything's gone for me, and I don't care if you have to sit in the stands. I know it won't come to that, but I just have to tell you I will not let you leave this year'".