At one stage, it appeared as though Ruud Van Nistelrooy was going to become a Manchester United legend. Sir Alex Ferguson had waited patiently to sign his man, despite the striker breaking his leg at PSV Eindhoven just before he was originally due to join the Red Devils.
How times have changed, with RVN now plying his trade at Real Madrid and speaking to The Sun about what a, ahem, poor time he was having at Old Trafford towards the end of his tenure. Apparently that was to blame for his loss of form during the 2006 World Cup, not the fact he couldn’t hit a cow’s behind with a banjo.
The Dutch master, 31, said: “I’ve never said I didn’t want to play for the national team. Right now I’m far calmer than two years ago and that was because at United I was going through a s**t period.
“And at that time, with a big tournament, that was something I certainly didn’t need. I tried hard to reject everything but it only worked to a certain extent.
“Then on top of that I had a conflict with Dutch coach Marco van Basten. Now I feel a lot better and I believe in our success.”
Fergie recently went on record to say that he regretted selling Jaap Stam to Lazio, but was more than happy to get shot of RVN, a bad apple as far as he was concerned. It appeared that the Dutchman was always angling for a move even when signing a new United contract and that hardly augured well for his Old Trafford future.