When asked if he’d ever been in a fight on the training ground, former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand recalled an incident involving Ruud van Nistelrooy and Cristiano Ronaldo reports The Mirror.
Speaking on his Vibe With FIVE YouTube show, Ferdinand recalled getting in Dutch international Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s face after the striker made a deliberate challenge on Ronaldo’s Achilles
“It was mad at United, things could just switch just like that [clicks fingers] in training.”
“I think all training grounds are the same, there’s a lot of testosterone flying about.”
“It’s funny, because I’ve got the biggest mouth on the training ground. I used to always be shouting and screaming and I used to love jokes.
“Obviously I got serious in training, with the games and that, especially on a Friday before the game on a Saturday, everyone’s playing, it would be hard games, fast games.
“One time something happened with Ruud. Ruud van Nistelrooy smashed Cristiano Ronaldo a couple of times, went down his Achilles.
“And then the ball went into Ruud and I smashed Ruud. I said, ‘What you doing? Why you kicking him for?’
“And then Ruud got up and he was [not happy] and all the players just got in the way, so nothing happened.
“But that’s the way it used to be in training. I was thinking, ‘Ronnie’s a young kid man, leave him alone, what you doing?’ but Ruud was an animal, an animal player.”
Thankfully for Manchester United no harm was done and both Van Nistelrooy and Ronaldo went on to score bucketloads of goals for the Red Devils.
Both Ronaldo and Van Nistelrooy would hook up again as Real Madrid teammates after the Dutch international left in 2006 and Ronaldo joining Los Blancos in 2009.
Van Nistelrooy scored 150 goals in 219 games for United, helping the Red Devils win an FA Cup and a League Cup as well as the Premier League crown.
Ronaldo scored 84 goals in 196 appearances for United before his record breaking £80 million move to Madrid.