Rio Ferdinand believes his former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo is at his best when he is riled. The Manchester United center back revealed that the secret to keeping Cristiano Ronaldo at bay is to respect and revere him.
The 28-year-old Portugal international, Cristiano Ronaldo will be up against Rio Ferdinand and the rest of Manchester United’s defense in the Round of 16 of the Champions League. Manchester United travels to Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday to participate in the first of the two matches.
According to Rio Ferdinand, no team should bring out Cristiano Ronaldo’s angry side. The veteran suggested Manchester United should take advantage of emotions of the occasion as they might throw Cristiano Ronaldo off him his game.
Cristiano Ronaldo has been in brilliant form since Manchester United sold him for a world record transfer fee to Real Madrid in 2009. The Portuguese football icon has scored 182 goals in 179 appearances for Real Madrid since making his dream switch.
“It’s going to be an emotional night for Ronaldo and a great night for him, too. But hopefully it gets too emotional for him,” Sir Alex Ferguson said in a recent interview. “He has a great rapport with the fans and there is a mutual respect between them both, which is great.
“The fans appreciated him when he was here and, since he has gone, they still sing his name. He came here a young boy and left a world-class player. He showed a lot of respect when he left and still does.”
Rio Ferdinand and his peers at Manchester United know Cristiano Ronaldo’s game better than any other team or players since they trained with him for six seasons. Rio Ferdinand reckons Sir Alex Ferguson should man-mark Cristiano Ronaldo at both games.
“You get as many people as possible around the ball when he has got it,” Rio Ferdinand said. “But we are going to have to use all of our experience, courage and ability to make sure that we stop not only Ronaldo but the other players they have, because Real are a great team.
“They have so many other weapons. We could shut Ronaldo down for 90 minutes but they still have players to hurt us, so we have to be compact and work hard.”