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Geoff Shreeves Recalls Time Livid Fergie Launched At Him Over Ronaldo Question

Geoff Shreeves Recalls Time Livid Fergie Launched At Him Over Ronaldo Question
By Eoin Harrington Updated

During his first spell at Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo gained a bit of a reputation for play-acting on the pitch and diving to win fouls, something which saw him draw the ire of many of the English football press.

One of those was Sky Sports host Geoff Shreeves, who has revealed a new story about the Portuguese winger and his manager Alex Ferguson in his upcoming autobiography.

Shreeves was working on the post-match interviews after Manchester United beat Middlesbrough in a 2007 FA Cup tie. The winning goal came from a penalty scored by Ronaldo, which he had won himself after a challenge in the area.

When Shreeves asked Ronaldo whether he had dived to win the penalty, he suddenly found himself face to face with a livid Alex Ferguson.

READ HERE: Bruno Fernandes Scoffs At Criticism Of On-Field Antics

Alex Ferguson was fuming over Ronaldo question

In a new excerpt from his upcoming bookCheers Geoff: Tales from the Touchline, Geoff Shreeves has revealed a story about an interview with Cristiano Ronaldo which shows the passion Alex Ferguson had in defending his players:

He loved the cut and thrust and used interviews for a message to his players, the fans or even the Manchester United board.

But he also stood up for his players, as I discovered after an FA Cup win over Middlesbrough when Cristiano Ronaldo went tumbling to win a penalty.

I asked Cristiano whether he went down easily. Ronaldo is pretty non-committal but says it was a penalty.

I certainly wasn’t aware of the impending explosion.

Sir Alex comes out of the dressing room and stalks straight towards me.

“You and your f***ing questions, you’re f***ing out of order,” he snarled.

“The boy hardly speaks English, you’re f***ing bang out of order”, plus even more colourful language.

“Don’t talk to me like that,” I replied. “I’m not one of your daft, young players.”

That saw the Ferguson red mist turn deep crimson.

He launched himself at me physically, with only United’s head of communications, Di Law, who jumped between us, preventing a full confrontation.

“Don’t even think about it,” I said to Fergie, which was met with an immediate, “F*** off, you’re barred,” as he was hurried away from the scene.

The reaction from Ferguson to the interview with Ronaldo is extreme to say the least, but he did have a fiery reputation during his time on the touchline with Manchester United.

READ HERE: Manchester United History: The Premier League Era

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In fairness to Fergie, Shreeves revealed that he then went home and watched the tape of the interview, and realised that his question to Ronaldo had been out of order.

Though he wrote to Ferguson and apologised, it wouldn't be until their next meeting that he would receive a response:

I thought I’d done a decent job but as soon as I got home, I stuck the tape on.

Then I saw I had got it wrong. It was heavy-handed, piling into him, demanding to know if he was a cheat.

I wrote Fergie an email, admitting I’d got it wrong. No response.

Our next game was a Champions League match with United in Rome.

In the tunnel he appeared out of nowhere and goes, “Right, you ready for that interview?”

I replied, “Look, I meant what I said in my email.”

He said: “Listen, you don’t need to say anything else, you apologised. It will never be spoken of again.”

SEE ALSO: Report: Spurs Regret Not Signing Gavin Bazunu This Summer


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