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SAF autobiography: Ronaldo could leave Man Utd provided he played fair

Former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has been telling in his latest autobiography the circumstances under Cristiano Ronaldo was allowed to leave Old Trafford in 2009 for Real Madrid. "Cristiano was the most gifted player I managed. He surpassed all the other great ones I coached at United - and I had many.

"We helped Ronaldo to be the player he was and he helped us recapture the excitement and self-expression of Manchester United teams."

"When the possibility of him leaving edged towards being a probability, I reached a gentlemen's agreement with him.

"I went to Carlos's house in Portugal to find the boy expressing an urge to go to Real Madrid, and told him: 'You can't go this year, not after the way Calderon has approached this issue'. I said, 'I know you want to go to Real Madrid but I'd rather shoot you than sell you to that guy now. If you perform, don't mess us about, and someone comes and offers a world record fee, then we will let you go.'"

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Dave Williams

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