Ruud van Nistelrooy recalls infamous Cristiano Ronaldo bust-up at Man Utd

Ruud van Nistelrooy recalls infamous Cristiano Ronaldo bust-up at Man Utd

Manchester United’s legendary striker Ruud van Nistelrooy has opened up on his infamous bust-up with Cristiano Ronaldo, which was the catalyst for his 2005 exit from the club.

The Dutch striker was the main man at Old Trafford during his five seasons at the club but after the arrival of superstar teenager Ronaldo, he became frustrated at the level of service he was receiving on the pitch because of the Portuguese winger’s preference for flicks and tricks.

They came head-to-head in training, with Van Nistelrooy making comments about Ronaldo’s father who had recently passed away. The former PSV Eindhoven striker was sent home by the manager after the incident and while he remained at the club, the following season proved to be his last as he left for Real Madrid in 2006.

Manchester United's Ruud van NistelrooyManchester United's Ruud van Nistelrooy
Ronaldo and van Nistelrooy played together for three seasons | PAUL BARKER/Getty Images

It was the beginning of the end for his relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson, but Van Nistelrooy has admitted that he was in the wrong in that situation.

Speaking to Rio Ferdinand on his “Vibe with Five” podcast, the now 44-year-old said, “I know that I was wrong in that situation. “I immediately walked into the dressing room and I sat next to him and apologised for my behaviour when I calmed down.

“That frustration came from somewhere. Now when you are 44 and you look back on things and you know when things are going around you in your private life, things are going on and sometimes can make you frustrated.

“That incident led to a discussion with Cristiano. Of course, you need to realise then and you have to be big enough to acknowledge that.”

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo (C) playReal Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo (C) play
The two played together at Real Madrid too | FABRICE COFFRINI/Getty Images

Van Nistelrooy scored an incredible 150 goals in 218 games for the club over five seasons but won just one Premier League title, FA Cup and League Cup during his time in England.

His departure led to Ferguson building his next side around Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney, and United went on to win a hat-trick of Premier League titles with the duo, as well as reaching back-to-back Champions League finals – one they won, and one they lost.before

Ronaldo followed then followed in Van Nistelrooy’s footsteps, completing an £80m transfer to Real Madrid.

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