Rio Ferdinand has said comments from Cristiano Ronaldo that the Portuguese forward did not speak to him during Manchester United’s Champions League-winning season were “unbelievable”.
Both Ronaldo and the now-retired Ferdinand were key players for United when the Old Trafford club completed a Premier League and Champions League double in the 2007/08 season.
Ronaldo is now at Real Madrid and it was suggested to him during a press conference ahead of a last-16 Champions League tie against Roma on Wednesday that his perceived lack of closeness with current team-mates Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale could affect the Spanish club’s chances.
“At Manchester United I won the Champions League and I didnâ€™t speak with (Rio) Ferdinand, (Ryan) Giggs or (Paul) Scholes. We said hello to each other and that was it,” Ronaldo said.
Ferdinand, in his role as a BT Sport television pundit during Chelsea’s Champions League loss away to Paris St Germain on Tuesday, jokingly replied: “He’s gone off me.
“He used to live next door to me. Unbelievable.
“I actually used to take the mick out of him in the changing rooms, I think he’s got the hump. He used to come in in tight jeans and we used to murder him. He didn’t get it,” the former England centre-back added.
Real’s usual forward trio of Benzema, Bale and Cristiano, known as BBC, is often compared to the equally potent MSN combination of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar Jr deployed at arch rivals Barcelona.
It has been suggested that the Barcelona trio are better friends than their Real counterparts and thus more effective.
But Ronaldo countered that view by saying: “If people say that their friendship is better than ours, then I can’t stop them.”
“But I don’t need Bale or Benzema to come to my house for dinner, the important thing is that we all get on well on the pitch,” he explained.