Quinton Fortune: United players would wind up Ronaldo
We would wind up Cristiano Ronaldo, says Quinton Fortune
Quinton Fortune spent seven seasons with Manchester United but despite helping the club win three Premier League titles he never received a winners’ medal having not played in the requisite 10 games.
In an exclusive interview with Ladbrokes and ahead of the launch of our 5-A-Side bet on Saturday’s clash between Brighton and Manchester United, the South African discussed how the players used to tease Cristiano Ronaldo over his lack of body strength.
Ronaldo took the huff
I was laughing at that moment last night before Cristiano won the penalty. He barged Rico Henry out of the way like he wasn’t there. But Ronaldo, when he arrived at United all those years ago, we used to tease him about that part of his game. We’d wind him up about his lack of strength, and he really took it personally. We’d tease him all the time in that first year, really getting under his skin.
The guy came back a year later and no one ever pushed him off the ball again. I was laughing last night, because when I saw him shoulder barge the Brentford defender, it just reminded me of this kid that arrived in Manchester with no physical strength at all. He wants to show people that even at 37, he’s still got that strength. I was at the game last night, and that moment just took me back.
There’s no way any of us can take any credit for teasing him and making him a stronger player, that’s all down to him and his own determination.
The banter we had in that dressing room as a group of lads was so important to our success, and Cristiano bought into it straightaway. We created such a strong bond as a unit, it’s one of the biggest parts of the game I miss.
At the end of training, hanging someone’s clothes up somewhere they can’t reach because they’re turning up in this awful gear, every day something was happening. You take that team spirit and unity onto the pitch, and the success follows. People are happy, we ate together, we socialised, and that creates a team.
I say we used to mess around with each others’ clothes; you never could touch David Beckham – he was out there on his own! I mean, look at the guy. Becks could wear whatever he wanted – none of us could compete with him, it was impossible. He could wear anything – look at his face! You can’t touch Becks.