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Rio Ferdinand reveals John O’Shea was left ‘panting’ after being friendly to Cristiano Ronaldo in 2003

‘John O’Shea must have had an oxygen tank next to him’: Rio Ferdinand reveals former Manchester United team-mate ‘gasped’ in the locker room midway through a friendly against Cristiano Ronaldo in 2003

  • Cristiano Ronaldo kindly tormented John O’Shea in the preseason in 2003
  • Rio Ferdinand says O’Shea couldn’t speak after looking kindly at the winger
  • Ferdinand revealed that United players begged Sir Alex Ferguson to sign Ronaldo
  • Ronaldo moved to United in a £ 12.24 million deal days after facing the club

Rio Ferdinand joked that former Manchester United teammate John O’Shea needed an oxygen tank after facing Cristiano Ronaldo in 2003.

Ronaldo delivered a sensational performance for Sporting Lisbon in a 3-1 friendly win for the season against United, before moving to Old Trafford a few days later.

O’Shea was unlucky to have to mark the Ronaldo that night and Ferdinand says the Irishman could barely speak at half-time after chasing him behind the field.

Rio Ferdinand has revealed that after 2003, Cristiano Ronaldo had John O'Shea 'panting' amicably

Rio Ferdinand has revealed that after 2003, Cristiano Ronaldo had John O’Shea ‘panting’ amicably

Ronaldo made a sensational appearance when Sporting beat Lisbon 3-1 in August 2003

Ronaldo made a sensational appearance when Sporting beat Lisbon 3-1 in August 2003

Ronaldo made a sensational appearance when Sporting beat Lisbon 3-1 in August 2003

Ferdinand says O’Shea, on the left, “needed an oxygen tank” after playing against Ronaldo

“We played against Sporting in 2003, we stepped in at half-time and John O’Shea must have had an oxygen tank next to him,” he said during a lifetime FIFA 20 game as part of the “Stay Home.” EA Sports and Copa90 ‘Play Together’ campaign.

“He was in pieces and he was panting there. We told him to get closer to Ronaldo and he couldn’t even answer us. ‘

Ferdinand and the rest of his teammates at United were stunned by Ronaldo’s performance and urged Sir Alex Ferguson to try to sign him.

“To be honest, me, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt stood there and went” this boy is incredible, we have to sign him. “

Ronaldo's performance against United earned him £ 12.24 million to the club a few days later

Ronaldo's performance against United earned him £ 12.24 million to the club a few days later

Ronaldo’s performance against United earned him £ 12.24 million to the club a few days later

Ronaldo immediately impressed with a brilliant debut against Bolton Wanderers

Ronaldo immediately impressed with a brilliant debut against Bolton Wanderers

Ronaldo immediately impressed with a brilliant debut against Bolton Wanderers

“We got on the bus and we were about an hour and a half late, and then they said they made a deal to sign Ronaldo now.”

Just days after that game, United made a £ 12.24 million deal to sign Ronaldo and became one of the biggest players in the club’s history.

The Portuguese won the Champions League, three Premier League titles and two FA Cups in six years with United before joining Real Madrid for £ 80 million in 2009.

The Portuguese became one of the club's best players ever in a six-year stay

The Portuguese became one of the club's best players ever in a six-year stay

The Portuguese became one of the club’s best players ever in a six-year stay

Ferdinand says that Ronaldo’s commitment to self-improvement and investing in himself was the secret of his success with the club.

“He lived next to me and I sometimes go around his house and see 15 people there. I would say, “Bruv, who are all those people in your house? Aren’t you going to relax? “

“He said, ‘That’s my physio, that’s the sports scientist, that’s the masseur.’ I think, “Jesus, this man is crazy.” ‘


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