Gary Neville revealed that the English weather was a “big problem” for Cristiano Ronaldo as he chose to leave Manchester United for Real Madrid.
The Portuguese international achieved a world record for £ 80 million against Real in 2009 after scoring 118 goals in 292 games at Old Trafford, including 68 in his last two seasons at United.
And, according to Neville, Ronaldo was in “one or two percent” of players who left Man Utd “Against the will of the club”.
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Neville Told Sky Sports: “I think because he did the interview after the 2008 final where he sort of hinted that he was going, it was almost like you had an early warning.
“So you were almost ready for that, you knew he was going the next year. It was coming, it was obvious that one day he would like to go to Madrid and La Liga. “
As for whether he tried to persuade Ronaldo to reject Real from staying in Man Utd, Neville added, “I haven’t spoken to Cristiano, for example, about his time at the club any longer. I think I may have told him during the year he was maybe … the weather was a big problem for Cristiano.
“I think he also obviously wanted to live in Spain and play La Liga. But time was a big problem for him and I felt like he had almost walked his way, he had made the trip. And I didn’t think anything I was going to say would get him out of there.
“I think in general with the players who left, there were very few who left to go up. Now, Cristiano, you could say that going to Real Madrid and winning four or five European Cups was a step for him where he wanted to challenge himself.
“The players who left were mainly because they had come to the end of the road for one reason or another, either their contract was exhausted, or their age became too high, or the manager had a word with them saying that they’re not going to play football too much anymore.
“Most of the players who left Man United wanted to stay. Let’s be clear, 99% of the players who left Man United while I was there would have stayed if the manager had said you were staying. Only one or two percent left against the will of the club. “
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