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Dublin: 8 °C Tuesday 17 September, 2019

'Ronaldo was an egotist in the dressing room, not like Beckham,' says Forlan

The former Red Devils forward was less than impressed with the attitude of the Portuguese superstar.

Ronaldo won three Premier League titles and the Champions League at Old Trafford.
Ronaldo won three Premier League titles and the Champions League at Old Trafford.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

CRISTIANO RONALDO WAS “an egotist” in the Manchester United dressing room who “always wanted to be near a mirror”, according to Uruguay legend Diego Forlan.

Furthermore, the 40-year-old says that the Portuguese was a significant step down as a person from the man he inherited the number seven shirt from, David Beckham.

Juventus forward Ronaldo spent six seasons with the Red Devils between 2003 and 2009, where he established himself as arguably the premier player in club football under Sir Alex Ferguson.

He subsequently switched to Real Madrid, where he remained for the best part of a decade before joining the Serie A heavyweights a year ago, with whom he won the Scudetto in his first season.

However, former United favourite Forlan has painted a less-than-favourable impression of the 34-year-old’s attitude off the pitch, despite his various successes at Old Trafford on it.

“Ronaldo was an egotist in the dressing room, not like Beckham,” he said. “Cristiano always wanted to be near a mirror. He spent all day looking in the mirror.”

The pair briefly played together during Forlan’s last season with the club, before he left to join Villarreal in the summer of 2004, having lifted the Premier League with the club.

Soccer - AXA FA Cup - Fourth Round - Northampton Town v Manchester United Nicky Butt and Cristiano Ronaldo celebrate with Diego Forlan in 2004. Source: EMPICS Sport

Ronaldo would then help United to three further titles during his stay, as well as the Champions League in 2007-08 against major domestic rivals Chelsea.

Forlan, who announced his retirement from football earlier this month over a year after he left his final club Kitchee in the Hong Kong Premier League, also expounded upon Ronaldo’s precursor Beckham’s role in the infamous “hairdryer treatment” clash between the England skipper and Ferguson in 2003.

Following an FA Cup defeat to Arsenal, the manager kicked a boot across the dressing room that hit the midfielder in the face, grazing his eyebrow, with Beckham subsequently sold to Madrid a few months later.

“In the locker room, Ferguson and Beckham began to insult each other,” Forlan recalled. “Every insult was worse than the last one and both men wanted to have the final word.

“Then Ferguson left and it seemed that the discussion was over, but then Beckham said something else. [The manager] turned around and saw a boot lying on the floor and kicked it toward [him].

“We all saw the blood and thought ‘no, that didn’t happen’ but within a moment both men were getting ready to fight. That was when Roy Keane and Van Nistelrooy stepped in to separate them.”

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