It turns out that superstar-to-be Cristiano Ronaldo was actually ‘bullied’ by the Manchester United squad when he first arrived at the club from Sporting Lisbon in 2003, according to Mads Timm.
Timm wrote in his book, ‘Red Devil’, as cited by the Sun, that Ronaldo was ‘bullied’ just like he was when he first arrived at the club, with his hairstyle and ‘acrobatic efforts’ in training annoying the team.
Timm spent six years on the books at Manchester United, the forward joined as a promising talent but his career never took off and he played in his homeland of Denmark after his release.
As he was bursting on the scene at Sporting Lisbon and when he initially arrived at Manchester, Ronaldo sported relatively long hair which had some blonde highlights, the United squad weren’t fans of that.
The future five-time Ballon d’Or winner swiftly changed to the preened spiky hairstyle after being ribbed by his teammates, these days he keeps a well-groomed comb over for the most part.
Here is what Timm had to say on the hairstyle choice that infuriated the rest of the United team:
“He was quite extraordinary as a footballer, and as a person.”
“Like me, he was bullied when he came to the club. With his hair – which he soon got clipped – and with his almost acrobatic attempt to impress the coaches.”
“He could stand and do 10-15 step overs before he tried to dribble past the opponent.”
Timm added that Ronaldo also used to frustrate Old Trafford legends in reserve matches:
“‘Pass now, just pass, dammit,’ shouted Gary Neville and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer constantly to him when we had reserve team matches together.”
“The special thing about Cristiano Ronaldo was that he immediately took the fight against the hierarchy. And he won it.”
“He was completely indifferent to the rest of his teammates. He gave no room for others. It was me, me, me. Cristiano Ronaldo. CR7.”
Some Man United fans will be surprised to hear that Ronaldo annoyed his teammates in the early stages of his career at Old Trafford, but they’ll be delighted to know that the attacker did not let the jibes get to him as he quickly became the man in Manchester.