Manchester United official website released a joint interview of Cristiano Ronaldo and Sir Alex Ferguson.
The Portuguese star made his debut for the club in 2003 and recalling the incident, Sir Alex said: “I always remember, that when we had the discussion [about Ronaldo signing for United], I think the thing I wanted to impress on his agent, in particular, [was that] he won’t play every game.
“But if he’s so good, I can’t stop him, [because] you always play your best players.
“The opening game of the season, he was substitute. He came on and he was absolutely bloody fantastic! The crowd was magnificent; the crowd loved it!
“So here we had a situation: do I play him the next game or do I put him back on the bench? That was a big problem, that, you know?”
The former boss added: “With any boy coming from another country at 18 years of age – I think he was the youngest we ever did that with – I think having a family around you is really important.
“I think his mother stayed for quite a bit. I know she was used to the move he made from Madeira to Lisbon when he was a young kid.
“But coming to another country where the language is different is a big step for a young person. So the club did really well [with that].”
Agreeing to that statement, Ronaldo said: “Everything that he [Sir Alex] said to me, he did.
“And it’s difficult. Imagine at 18, you arrive from Sporting, you play with the stars – with Giggsy, Scholes, Roy Keane, Solskjaer – I was a little bit nervous. But he helped me a lot by the communication.
“He would call me to his office with the translator there. The most important thing was he told me things that helped me to grow up as a person, and as a player. And since day one, everything that he told me, he did. So I appreciated it a lot.
“I’m always saying it, but he was like a father figure to me in football. I appreciate everything he did for me, my family and especially for the club. He did an amazing job.”