Premier League

Cristiano got special treatment from Ferguson - Solskjaer

Cristiano got special treatment from Ferguson - Solskjaer

PAUL ELLIS

AFP

Manchester United legends such as Ryan Giggs, David Beckham and Eric Cantona were not afforded the same privileges as the Portuguese star at Old Trafford.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær is remembered fondly by Manchester United fans after his exploits under the leadership of Alex Ferguson. And during his time at the Old Trafford club, the Norwegian striker shared the dressing room with, among others, Cristiano Ronaldo. In an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport, the former player revealed some details of the early days of the Portuguese star's meteoric rise.

Ronaldo's work ethic convinced Ferguson

"At first he was shy and didn't know the language, and then he learned it," shared Solskjær, referring to the 2003/04 season when Cristiano moved to the Premier League from Sporting.

"He was in the gym forty minutes before training and he also stayed 40 minutes afterwards," the Norwegian continued.

FILES-FBL-EUR-C1-POR-ENG-MAN UTD-BENFICAOld Devil | In 2005, Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo playing against Benfica in the Champions League.

And it was this work ethic, along with his obvious talent, that convinced Ferguson about Ronaldo, Solskjær said, which meant he was granted unprecedented privileges in the squad.

"He was the only one who Sir Alex said: 'OK, only worry about attacking, do not think about defending.' Neither Giggs nor Beckham nor Cantona were ever told this."

Cristiano memories

The man nicknamed 'The Baby-faced Assassin' played 366 times for United, scoring 126 goals along the way, and is most remembered for the injury time goal in the 1999 UEFA Champions League Final against Bayern Munich, which completed a remarkable comeback and won the Red Devils 'The Treble'. And he maintains good memories of his time with the famous number seven who moved on to Real Madrid and now Juventus.

"I still have a picture of the two of us in my office," he said.

Juventus host Manchester United on Wednesday night in the Champions League.

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