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“It’s Ronaldo, it’s Ronaldo”: How Cristiano Ronaldo persuaded two youngsters join Manchester United

One phone call of Cristiano Ronaldo was enough to persuade two youngsters join Manchester United.

Sir Alex Ferguson used the five-time winner of the Ballon d’Or Cristiano Ronaldo to recruit Rafael and Fabio da Silva, twin fullbacks. Rafael said on the UTD Podcast that “CR7” called him when he was a youngster and that his sway over them contributed to their choice.

The present Botafogo guy smiled, “I’ll never forget that he ringed my phone.

“I was wondering who this was because my phone had all zeros [on the screen, signifying an international call]. I’ve never had a call like this before. I responded, and I recognized him since we had previously exercised together. He just greeted me in Portuguese, Ah!” I shouted, “It’s Ronaldo, it’s Ronaldo!” as I dashed to my bus. He’s asking for our input now.” 

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Cristiano Ronaldo has an unreal influence on youngsters: 

Raphael and Fabio Silva for Manchester United

In 2020, Fabio told a similar tale and said that while playing for one of the top teams in the world, Ronaldo had helped them both overcome language barriers and confidence concerns.

After Gary Neville retired, Rafael took over as United’s starting right-back and won three Premier League championships while playing at Old Trafford. After losing favor under Louis van Gaal, he left for Lyon in 2015.

Fabio, meantime, played on loan at Queen’s Park Rangers for the 2010–2011 season and only won one Premier League medal. He now plays for Nantes in Ligue 1 after being traded to Cardiff City in 2014.

Ferguson didn’t want to let Arsene Wenger steal away two young players from United since Arsenal was one of United’s main competitors in the 2000s.

The brothers were promptly snatched up by the Red Devils from Fluminese, and both were successful transfers.

Ronaldo scored 24 goals last season while playing for United for the second time. He ended the season earning a place in the PFA Team of the year and as the league’s second-highest goalscorer. 

Ronaldo the agent? It appears to be a true phenomenon.

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