'You won't play every game' – Ferguson’s shock revelation to Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of 2003 Man Utd transfer revealed

SIR ALEX FERGUSON warned Cristiano Ronaldo ‘you won’t play every game’ upon signing the club legend in 2003.

But the iconic Manchester United boss, 79, was forced to relent after Ronaldo, 36, received a rapturous welcome from Red Devils fans when making his debut off the bench.

Then just 18 years old, Ronnie delighted supporters with a 30-minute cameo in a 4-0 win over Bolton.

And Sir Alex quickly found himself in a pickle, having told Ronaldo in negotiations that he would not be guaranteed regular minutes.

Fergie told the Inside View: “I always remember, that when we had the discussion [about Ronaldo signing], I think the thing I wanted to impress on his agent, in particular, [was that] he won't play every game.

“But if he's so good, I can't stop him. You always play your best players.

“The opening game of the season, he was substitute. He came on and he was absolutely bloody fantastic! The crowd was magnificent, the crowd loved it.

“So here we had a situation: Do I play him the next game or do I put him back on the bench? That was a big problem, that, you know.”

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Ferguson ended up sticking to his guns, keeping Ronaldo as a sub in a 2-1 win over Newcastle.

But after another impressive appearance from the bench, the forward started the next game against Wolves and didn’t look back.

Fergie famously snapped Ronaldo up from Sporting Lisbon over 18 years ago after playing against the then-teenage whiz in a friendly.

Ronnie quickly became an Old Trafford icon while establishing himself as one of the world’s top players.

He scored 188 goals during six seasons in Manchester while winning the 2008 Ballon d’Or.

And Ronaldo also delivered numerous titles to the Theatre of Dreams, including three consecutive Premier Leagues and one Champions League.

Now in his second spell at United after successful stints with Real Madrid and Juventus, Ronaldo continues to be highly influential with 13 goals in 18 matches.

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