The evening before the game, the Manchester United players were resting in the hotel where they were staying. They needed to make up for the jet lag, but the coach Ferguson quietly came to a restaurant outside Lisbon. There, he had dinner with several executives of the Portuguese sports club and Ronaldo’s agent Mendes. After the meal, Ferguson met Mendes privately, and they reached a gentleman agreement. According to the agreement, Ronaldo, a young player pursued by a number of top European clubs including Arsenal, Barcelona and Real Madrid, will join Manchester United.
On the second day of the friendly match, Ronaldo made Manchester United's entire defense miserable. In order to replace the injured Gary Neville, O'Shea appeared at the right back of the team and he had to mark the 18-year-old. Under the torture of Ronaldo, the Irish defender was exhausted in the first half. O'Shea spends all his time chasing Ronaldo's back, but he is always half a step away from the winger. Those sliding tackles were lightly skipped one by one by the opponent; and those slow, desperate interceptions only allowed the opponent to get a few free kicks.
This is the first time Ferguson has seen 18-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo playing football. He couldn't believe his eyes. According to Ferguson's description in his autobiography, he asked the jersey manager Albert Morgan to go to the board box to find club chief executive Peter Kenyon. He had to talk to Kenyon again during the intermission.
这是弗格森第一次看到18岁的克里斯蒂亚诺·罗纳尔多踢足球。他简直不敢相信自己的眼睛。根据弗格森在自传中的描述，他要求球衣经理阿尔伯特·摩根（Albert Morgan）进入董事会，寻找俱乐部首席执行官彼得·凯尼恩（Peter Kenyon）。中场休息时，他不得不再次与Kenyon交谈。
Somewhere in the stadium stands, Barcelona's sports director Begiristan is also eyeing Ronaldo. Ferguson seems unwilling to leave the stadium until the Ronaldo deal is finalized.
Kenyon didn't realize the importance of Ronaldo to Ferguson at the time. He hesitated and asked: "Is he that good?"
Ferguson's answer was not at all negotiable: "O'Shea will have a headache in the end! Sign him quickly!"
After the 3-1 victory of the Portuguese sport, Manchester United's bus stopped outside the stadium until the final transfer of Ronaldo was completed. According to reports, Ronaldo signed a contract with the Red Devils at a high price of 19 million euros, which broke the world record for transfer fees for players under the age of twenty at the time.
"O'Shea was played around in circles that night," recalled Ricardo, who was sitting on the bench at the former Spanish gate. He was a substitute for Manchester United at the time, and the goalkeeper on the field was Bartez, the 1998 World Cup winner. "In order to contain Ronaldo, he took a lot of effort. Ronaldo performed incredible in that game, his performance is unparalleled in the world."
"While we were waiting on the bus to go to the airport, someone joked that Ferguson was busy buying players from Sevilla. Of course, that person was actually Ronaldo. When we returned to Manchester, Ronaldo started to fight We trained together at Carrington Base. All this happened in just a few days."
Ten days after the end of the Lisbon friendly match, Ronaldo made his Premier League debut in Manchester United's 4-0 victory over Bolton. He is wearing the iconic No. 7 jersey of the Red Devils. Before that, George Best, Cantona and Beckham, who had just transferred to Real Madrid that summer, were the owners of this jersey. This is the kind of heritage Ferguson hopes for.
Because they both speak Spanish, Ricardo and Ronaldo became close friends in Manchester. At that time, other Spanish players in the team included Diego Fran and South African Fortune. In the late 1990s, Fortune was Ricardo's teammate at Atletico Madrid.
由于他们俩都说西班牙语，所以里卡多和罗纳尔多在曼彻斯特成为了密友。当时，团队中的其他西班牙球员包括迭戈·弗兰（Diego Fran）和《南非财富》（South African African Fortune）。在1990年代后期，《财富》杂志是里卡多在马德里竞技队的队友。
Ricardo and Ronaldo will celebrate each other's birthdays. Ricardo still remembers the family who lived with Ronaldo at that time, including his mother Dolores and cousin Nuno. In a rented farmhouse outside Manchester, Nuno and others created a warm family atmosphere for Ronaldo. At the same time, Cristiano Ronaldo's career on the field has begun to flourish, and his ambitions are endless.
"His family is around, which helps him a lot," Ricardo said. "But even at such a young age, you can see that he has a strong personality. He is a fighter. He is very good. Have personality, independent thinking, and always strive to improve themselves."
"You can see that when he came to Manchester, he was very clear about what he wanted to achieve. He likes to train and prepares himself as much as he can so that he can perform well. He performs well in this area. Very focused, and he has the ability to match his perfectionist tendencies. Nothing can make him anxious."
"He has the talent to control the ball. This is an innate talent, wonderful skill. You can see it. He can use football to do things that make you crazy, but the defensive players will feel flustered because of him. Uneasy. He is good at one-on-one and can also score. He is the best player I have ever seen."
According to former U.S. international Spector, he watched a live broadcast of a European football match for the first time, the 1999 historic Champions League final. That year, the way of watching football on the Internet had not yet appeared. At the age of 13, he and his father went to a shoe store in Illinois to buy a pair of football boots. The pictures on the store's TV screen kept them for a long time-in the final moments of the game, Manchester United scored two goals and miraculously reversed Bayern Munich with a score of 2-1, while Spector and his son stayed in the shoe store until the end of the game.
This ball fascinated Spector completely. Five years later, he represented Manchester United against Bayern Munich for the first time in the preseason game held at the Chicago Military Field. This is something Spector dreams of. When announcing the team's roster, the 18-year-old won the loudest cheers of the 58,000 fans in the audience.
According to Spector, his old teammate Ronaldo was like a heavy-duty machine.
"What impressed me most about him was the incredible degree of work commitment," Spector said. "This may be a cliché, but he was the first to arrive at the training ground and the last to leave. He was the last one to leave. Always practice his personal skills on the court. He will spend 30 to 40 minutes dribbling the ball alone, dribbling the ball, pretending to pass, riding a bicycle, and show his creativity. Obviously, he is very good at it. Interest and passion."
“给我最深刻的印象是对他的不可思议的工作投入，” Spector说。 “这可能是陈词滥调，但他是第一个到达训练场，最后一个离开。他是最后一个离开训练场。总是在球场上练习他的个人技能。他将花费30到40分钟来运球独自一人打球，运球，假装传球，骑自行车并展现出他的创造力。显然，他非常擅长于此。兴趣和激情。”
"When practicing crosses, he would first find a coach or other player to pass the ball to him, and then he would pretend to dribble the ball and make a pass. He would also practice free kicks, all of which It’s all part of his game. This is what I learned from playing with him. Whether on the court or in the gym, his hard work is so incredible. He is what I have seen in my entire career. One of the most urgent people."
Currently, Spector serves as the head of the International Player Recruitment and Development Department for Atlanta United. He added: "This is a very interesting thing. It is difficult for you to associate the above with young players. Young people look at Ronaldo now, and he may also be criticized for not having enough defensive strength; however, they have never seen it. When Ronaldo was as old as theirs, it was all the hard work that made Ronaldo the player he is now. He has been working hard to sharpen himself."
"When he first joined Manchester United, Ronaldo was skinny. Although he has all the original attributes such as speed, when we were 18 or 9 years old, I could not predict that he would win the Ballon d'Or. Later, Ronaldo strengthened his strength. In the gym, he worked very hard to exercise his muscles, his physical fitness is no longer the original him. He has the motivation to work hard, you think he will become a special player."
Later, while playing for West Ham United, Spector also played against his old teammate Ronaldo several times. At Old Trafford or Old Upton Park on Saturday afternoon, Spector, who had to watch Ronaldo, always knew he would face a difficult situation.
后来，在为西汉姆联（West Ham United）效力时，斯派克特（Spector）还多次与他的老队友罗纳尔多（Ronardo）比赛。在星期六下午在老特拉福德或老厄普顿公园，不得不看罗纳尔多的斯佩克特一直都知道他将面临困境。
"I played left back and right back in West Ham United, so I often
"For most players who are good at one-on-one, you can try to get close to them, so that they will lose the space to turn around or sprint. However, Ronaldo has the speed, so he can get rid of the ball after a short distance. In addition, If there are players like Scholes sitting in the Manchester United midfielder, they have the ability to pass through the defense with a kick to find Ronaldo."
"To be honest, the key to defending Ronaldo is that your teammates can assist in the defense together. The midfielder can come to sweep or the winger can withdraw, so there is double insurance. If you are only left to go one-on-one, there is no How many chances are there against players like him."
In the summer of 2010, midfielder Alex was recruited to the first team by then Real Madrid coach Mourinho to participate in the pre-match trip to the United States. He couldn't believe his luck. During the same period, his elder brother Nacho and good friend Morata from the Real Madrid youth training camp were also called up to the first team lineup.
In the summer of 2010, the Spanish national team won the World Cup. Just a few weeks later, Alex made his debut for Real Madrid at the Candlestick Park Stadium in San Francisco. He was only 17 years old at the time, and his brother Nacho was playing by his side. In that game, Real Madrid defeated the Mexican American team 3-2, Ronaldo scored the winning goal at the last minute.
"When I first played with Cristiano, I was nervous because I was too young," Alex said. "I'm just a kid. Here, I play with one of the greatest players in the world. , But I remember he made me feel like at home, as if I were no different from the other players on the team."
Alex also remembers Ronaldo’s terrible self-discipline work ethic: “Cristiano is always 100% involved in training. He treats training as a game. He has never trained badly or missed even one. A training session. He never relaxes himself because of the slack of other players. He knows that he must work very hard to stay at the top. He is a bit like Nadal in tennis. They all like to work hard. You can see how they treat their work. Passion, they enjoy it, and they know it makes them the best in the world."
"Cristiano has always been super competitive. He has high expectations of himself and strict requirements. Every weekend, he wants to prove that he is that man. He needs a great team because he wants to be a top shooter. He did have his own glorious moments. Occasionally, he would lose his temper on the court or make some controversial remarks. For example, after a game, if the team loses or the day is bad , He will get angry. Maybe other types of players are not so emotional, but they are all part of football."
In addition, Alex also recalled Ronaldo's sympathetic side. One or two years after his Real Madrid debut, Alex participated in another preseason training camp in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, his knee was injured and he limped to the team's medical center.
"I have to do some tests to assess the injury and see if it is serious," Alex said.
Ruben Yanez was a member of Real Madrid who won the La Liga and Champions League doubles in 2017. He still remembers the first time Mourinho asked him to train in the first team of Real Madrid in 2013. When he saw Ronaldo on the training ground, his eyes almost gleamed.
"The first time I saw Cristiano in training, I was a little shocked because I had never seen him up close," Ruben-Yánez said. "At that time, his reputation was so high and he gained It won the Golden Globe Award that year. For a young man from the youth training camp, being able to play with him and other first-team players, I will never forget this memory."
As a goalkeeper outside of the home team, Ruben Yanez has the opportunity to train free kicks with Ronaldo twice a week.
"He always wanted to shoot the ball in the upper corner." Ruben Yanez said. In addition, he also participated in Ronaldo's penalty kick training. According to Ruben Yanez, Ronaldo was very competitive in all aspects of training, even in terms of muscle appearance.
“他一直想在上角投篮。”鲁本·亚内兹（Ruben Yanez）说。此外，他还参加了罗纳尔多的点球训练。根据鲁本·亚内兹（Ruben Yanez）的说法，罗纳尔多在训练的各个方面都非常有竞争力，即使在肌肉外观方面也是如此。
"I remember that fitness coaches always measure us regularly
"So once, Cristiano said,'Let's have a wrist-wrenching match.' We have a video of this game. We played twice. The first time he cheated because he started to exert his strength before me. He won! But the second time, I won. This game made us laugh. It was not until I saw the video that my father believed that I won Ronaldo."
"That's why I say Cristiano is very competitive. He always wants to win, and he will always stimulate you on the way he wins, even if it's a game of wrist wrenching!"