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Van Nistelrooy Was Booted Out Of United For A Slur At Ronaldo

Van Nistelrooy Was Booted Out Of United For A Slur At Ronaldo
By Gavin Cooney

The greatest trick Alex Ferguson played at Manchester United was his ability to mould and then deconstruct teams: no manager in English football history has proved as adept at moving on the cornerstones of his teams as soon as he believed they were no longer producing.

With the admitted exception of Jaap Stam, Ferguson usually got this right. The losses of David Beckham, Roy Keane et al proved only minor setbacks to Ferguson's remarkable dominance of English football. Ruud Van Nistelrooy was another to see both sides of Ferguson. A once-vital member of the squad, the Dutchman was flogged to Real Madrid in 2006, amid rumours of strife between he and Ferguson.

The main reason to which Van Nistelrooy's exit has been attributed came during the 2006 Carling Cup final, as Van Nistelrooy reportedly swore at Ferguson when it became clear that he would not make it off the bench.

But today, it has emerged that this was merely one of the reasons triggering Van Nistelrooy's departure for the Bernabeu. He didn't get along with Cristiano Ronaldo, who was slightly indulged by Ferguson given the Portuguese's transcendent talent.

Van Nistelrooy railed at Ronaldo's treatment, and in years since has complained about losing David Beckham's right-wing crossing ability for Ronaldo's thirst for goals of his own. And the pair's rivalry all turned unseemly in a clash during training, according to a new book by Alastair Campbell entitled Blair to Brown, Diaries Volume 6. 

Campbell has enjoyed a close relationship with fellow Blairite Alex Ferguson, and it is through such a connection that he learned of the Ronaldo/Van Nistelrooy clash.

Ferguson met Campbell in June 2006 and called Van Nistelrooy "very self-centred" before relaying the following story:


The last straw was when he [Van Nistelrooy] told Ronaldo he had found a new Dad in Carlos [Quieroz] just after Ronaldo's dad, who was an alcoholic, had died. Carlos had asked him to show respect and he said he didn't respect anyone there. He later apologised but CR [Ronaldo] was having none of it. Alex sent Van Nistelrooy home later when he heard about it. He was not sure what he was going to do with him.

Ferguson decided pretty quickly, and Van Nistelrooy was off to Madrid.

[The Sunday Times]


See Also: Jamie Redknapp Has Had A Very Strange Criticism Of Roy Keane


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