Rio Ferdinand has joked that former Man Utd team-mate John O’Shea “needed an oxygen tank” at half-time in his first meeting with Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Red Devils signed Ronaldo from Sporting Lisbon for £12.25m in 2003 shortly after losing to the Portuguese giants 3-1 in a match to help open their new stadium.
After the match, Ferdinand was one of several players who urged Man Utd to sign Ronaldo after leaving a mark on his future team-mates.
“He was in bits and he was sitting there panting. We were telling him to get closer to Ronaldo and he couldn’t even answer us.
“To be fair, me, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt were standing there going ‘this kid’s unbelievable, we’ve got to sign him’.
“We got on the coach and we were delayed for about an hour and a half, and then they said they were doing a deal to sign Ronaldo now.”
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