Sir Alex Ferguson apologises to Ronaldo over comments

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has apologised to Ronaldo, the Brazilian one, for calling him 'fat'.

Sir Alex Ferguson has moved to soften the impact of the mini-furore he caused when he upset the World Cup record goalscorer Ronaldo by calling him 'fat' last month.

Ferguson made the comments when talking about the player's hat-trick at Old Trafford in 2003, ahead of Real Madrid's 2-1 win at the stadium in the Champions League last month.

The United manager made a reference to the '"the fat, old one" when asked to compare the two Ronaldo's ahead of the match.

It prompted a spectacular outburst from the man nicknamed R9, after Madrid's win.

"Real Madrid shut his mouth for me, it was a lack of respect. A professional of his age, an English Sir, should not be so disrespectful. It was not classy."

But now United's boss has sought to repair the damage after offending one of modern football's greatest ever players.

Speaking to Brazilian website Lancenet, Ferguson said ahead of FA Cup clash with Chelsea: "It was a misunderstanding. I made a joke with a former athlete who I always admired, without any intention to offend.

"I commented something for the two Ronaldos, Cristiano and the Phenomenon, two extraordinary players, and made a joke to make mention of the Brazilian Ronaldo. Always respected him a lot on and off the field. Anyway, it was a misunderstanding - finished."

Ferguson also went onto admit United even considered signing the player before he was purchased by PSV, and also later in his career after a chance meeting at the Club World Cup in 2000 when he was recovering from injury, but it never materialised.

It was clear Ferguson would not have wanted Ronaldo to take offence to his comments, a player who has bore him no ill will in the past, so it is nice to see him go to the effort to try to repair the damage done.

image: © Crystian Cruz

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