van Nistelrooy explains falling out with Cristiano Ronaldo at United

Ruud van Nistelrooy has opened up on the fallout he had with Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United.

The Dutchman was widely considered to be one of the best forwards in world football during his stint at Old Trafford. However, in 2006, he abruptly left the club to join Real Madrid.

One of the apparent catalysts behind that was a falling out with Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Ruud and Ronaldo tale

Reports over the years pointed to some harsh words being directed at Ronaldo, Luis Saha even claimed that he had been reduced to tears by his teammate at the time.

During an appearance on Rio Ferdinand’s Vibe with FIVE podcast, van Nistelrooy spoke about his regret regarding the exchange.

“I know that I was wrong in that situation.

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“I immediately walked into the dressing room and I sat next to him and apologised for my behaviour when I’d calmed down. 

“That frustration is coming from somewhere and now when you’re 44, you look back on things and you know when things are going on around you, sometimes it can make you frustrated. 

“In that incident, it led to a discussion with Cristiano but of course, you need to realise and be big enough to acknowledge that.”

Ferdinand himself even brought up the occasion where he had an altercation with the Dutchman.

van Nistelrooy also discussed Sir Alex Ferguson’s decision to sell him, claiming that it was the right choice on the manager’s part.

“Because I left, I think other people stepped up. Now we are 20 years later and we can talk about these things in an honest way.

“The manager saw things right to let me go because other players stepped up and freed personalities to do their stuff.

“Building that team around Cristiano, Rooney, you were still there, (Nemanja) Vidic, (Patrice) Evra, in the end the gaffer saw that right as well.

“I lifted my career in that sense with four unbelievable years in Madrid so it worked for everyone”

Featured image credit: Getty