• Champions League

Ronaldo hits back at Fergie 'fat' jibe

ESPN staff
March 7, 2013
Ronaldo didn't like being called 'fat'

Former Brazil striker Ronaldo said Real Madrid's 2-1 Champions League win over Manchester United on Tuesday served to shut Sir Alex Ferguson's mouth, after the United boss called him 'fat' in the build-up to the game.

During Monday's pre-game press conference Ferguson was asked to compare the former Madrid attacker Ronaldo [Luis Nazario de Lima] with his namesake the current Los Blancos star [Cristiano] Ronaldo. The Scot replied that Cristiano was a better all-round player than the "fat, old" Ronaldo, who had scored a hat-trick on Madrid's last visit to Old Trafford in 2003.

The Portuguese attacker then did not match that performance during this year's game, looking affected by the emotion of his return to his former club, but still scoring Madrid's winner in a game that hinged on the controversial sending off of United winger Nani early in the second half with home side 1-0 ahead.

The Brazilian Ronaldo, 36, retired as a player in 2011 after a long series of knee injuries and struggles with his weight, apparently due to a related thyroid problem. He reportedly lost 37 pounds while taking part in a reality show on Brazilian TV last year, and is currently working as an ambassador for the 2014 World Cup, which is being held in his home country.

Speaking at a publicity event at currently half-built World Cup venue Arena Pernambuco, Ronaldo said that the remarks from Ferguson, 71, had been disrespectful and unexpected from someone with so much experience in the game.

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

Ronaldo said he did not want to get into any further debate on the subject, but he would be keeping an eye out for United's results from now on.

"I have no words for this gentleman, except that I hope the team he manages always loses," he added.

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