SportSoccer

Video - Ferdinand on the day Man Utd decided to sign Ronaldo

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
United had to sign Ronaldo after he tore Irishman O'Shea to shreds
United had to sign Ronaldo after he tore Irishman O'Shea to shreds

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has revealed why his former team-mates told their manager Alex Ferguson they had to sign a young Cristiano Ronaldo back in 2003 - and the story is not too flattering for John O'Shea.

Ronaldo's impressive efforts for Sporting Lisbon in a pre-season friendly against United inspired Ferguson to make a move for the teenager winger, but only after his senior players insisted he had to sign the Portuguese wonder kid.

"We were all in the toilet at half-time and in the game against Sporting Lisbon and we were all saying we had to sign this guy," Ferdinand told BT Sport, painting a somewhat improbable scene.

"I remember looking at John O'Shea and he was (panting) because he couldn't get near him. Sorry Sheasy about that!

"By the time we got home he (Ronaldo) was signed, sealed and delivered."

Check out the full clip featuring Ferdinand and Scholes here:

Meanwhile, United great Paul Scholes has reopened his attack on the style of play being deployed under boss Louis van Gaal, with his comments unlikely to be well received by the Old Trafford boss. 

"I want to sit here and see United blast teams away, be it brilliant attacking football, have players with creativity, have players who get you on the edge of your seat. I want to see that from Manchester United but it's not been happening," Scholes told BT Sport.

"What you have seen are a team that are brilliantly coached defensively.

"You have (to be defensive) against Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Real Madrid, not Crystal Palace, not Middlesbrough at home or CSKA Moscow at home - or away for that matter.

"Look, these are tough games and I'm not saying these are dummies these teams, they are decent sides, but United fans need to see something.

"I was lucky enough to play with players that you would give them the ball and they can beat five men and ram the ball in the top corner, players who can beat people, quick players, I just don't see that in this team.

"Whether Van Gaal doesn't allow them to do that or give them the confidence to do that I just don't know, it's just a sideways, possession, boring style of football and you have to say, does he have a problem with forward players?"

Scholes feels the Dutchman was wrong to sell the likes of Angel Di Maria and Javier Hernandez given the club's current plight.

"Look at the players that have gone, that he has let go," he went on.

"You can talk of (Robin) Van Persie, (Danny) Welbeck, Chicharito (Hernandez), (Adnan) Januzaj, Di Maria, I'd love to see these players at the club now.

"I look at the bench on Saturday, not one centre forward. He brings Ashley Young on and brings him on at right-back. I thought Ashley Young was one of the best players last year, he can beat a man, put great crosses into the box, okay he's probably not every Manchester United fan's favourite player, but he tries stuff, he can be creative."