Cristiano Ronaldo News

Friday, October 20, 2006


19 October 2006

David Mcdonnell
CRISTIANO RONALDO believes he has got his own back on the Premiership's boo-boys - and claims even his most vehement critics have been forced to acknowledge his brilliance.

Sir Alex Ferguson has hailed Ronaldo as Manchester United's best player this season and heaped praise on the winger for the way he has dealt with relentless abuse from opposing fans since the World Cup.

Fergie even claimed he had seen scores of fans give up booing Ronaldo because their jeers served only to inspire the Portuguese flyer.

And although Ronaldo will be in for more stick on Sunday when United take on arch-rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford, the 21-year-old believes the Anfield hate mob will be the latest to be silenced by his dazzling skills.

"People are always saying if you boo me I will only play better," said Ronaldo. "And maybe that's true. All I know is that when I go on the pitch my concentration is 100 per cent on the game and on what I'm doing.

"I don't care if people have a go at me. But they don't do it so much now and that makes me feel good. I've quietened them down. I believe in myself and I just love to play football. It was the same in the World Cup, with people booing me, but it's been very important for me and good for me in the sense that it's helped me grow up.

"I've learned a lot about myself from the experiences of the past few months. I'm more confident and more mature, both as a person and as a player.

"Every year I am learning and this season I think I've improved a lot. I've worked hard on my game and I think people are starting to appreciate me for the player I am."

Boss Fergie has enjoyed watching Ronaldo put United's opponents through mental turmoil.

He said: "Although they set out to boo him, they're sat there with their legs and fingers crossed hoping nothing happens to embarrass them.

"At Charlton, I was sitting in the directors' box and this guy was going berserk, even when Ronaldo didn't have the ball.

"He was up shouting then, all of a sudden, Ronaldo hits the bar and the guy sat down for 10 minutes thinking it's not worth it because he can hurt, you with his ability.

"I know English football is very tribal but the fans are all passionate and recognise a great player, which is what's happened with Ronaldo."

Sunday can't come quickly enough for Ronaldo, who said: "The Liverpool match is extra special, not just because of the rivalry, but also because we can put an even bigger gap between ourselves and them."



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