Cristiano Ronaldo has enjoyed a reunion with Sir Alex Ferguson for the first time since the legendary Manchester United boss suffered a brain haemorrhage in May.
Former manager Ferguson was not at the game, but visited Ronaldo at the Juventus team hotel after the Italians beat United 1-0 in the Champions League.
Ferguson signed Ronaldo from Sporting Lisbon in 2003, mentoring him for six years before he was sold to Real Madrid for a then-world record fee of £80million.
Cristiano Ronaldo poses for a photo with legendary former manager Sir Alex Ferguson
The pair are good friends after spending six years together at United from 2003 to 2009
Writing on Twitter alongside the picture, Ronaldo said: ‘A great coach and above all a wonderful man. Taught me so many things inside and outside the pitch.
‘Great to see you in good shape, Boss!’
Ronaldo has regularly referred to Ferguson as a father figure in his life, taking him from a flashy winger to a more rounded goalscorer.
Speaking earlier this year, the 33-year-old said: ‘Of course, in the beginning of my career he was so important to me because I moved from Sporting to Manchester and I had that Portuguese mentality – too many stepovers, decision-making was not the best.
‘So he taught me how to do it. You know, in the Premier League they don’t fall over so easy, they are tough. As I’ve said many, many times, he taught me everything. He was like a father to me. He helped me a lot at Manchester United.’
Ferguson is now heading back to full health after suffering a brain haemorrhage and undergoing major surgery back in May.
Ferguson signed Ronaldo (right, with Kleberson) from Lisbon as a fresh-faced 18-year-old
The Old Trafford great waved at well-wishers when he returned following major heart surgery
RONALDO AT UNITED
Matches played: 292
Goals scored: 118
Trophies won: 9 (3x Premier League, 1x Champions League, 1x FA Cup, 2x League Cup, 1x Community Shield, 1x Club World Cup)
Bought for: £12.24m (August 2003)
Sold for: £80m (June 2009)
Since then, he has been steadily recovering at his home in Wilmslow, Cheshire and it was revealed earlier this month that he has stopped drinking red wine to aid his recovery.
Ferguson made his first public appearance at Old Trafford at the end of September, watching United’s 1-1 draw with newly-promoted Wolves.
He was snapped smiling as he entered the stadium before the game, and he was given a rapturous welcome by the United faithful ahead of kick-off.
It was an emotional return for the club legend, who told MUTV ahead of the game: ‘It’s really good [to be back]. It’s obviously been a long journey but I’m making steps forward, doing what my son tells me and what the doctors tell me so, yeah, it’s really good.
Ferguson has enjoyed success against Juve himself; he is pictured after winning away in 1999
Ronaldo received a rapturous welcome from the Old Trafford faithful on Tuesday evening
‘I’m a bit nervous, to be honest with you, maybe a bit tense really because the last game was Arsenal back in April. It was a long time but it’s great to be back and I just hope we get a win today.
‘I don’t miss this [interviews]. This is the pressure, having these press guys with stupid questions! No, it’s great to go back to the stadium and it’s going to be quite emotional for me when the game starts, things like that. It had to happen some time and I’ve been looking forward to it. It was important getting the right time and the right rest before coming to a game.
‘It’s bound to be emotional,’ he continued. ‘Particularly when I take my seat in the box. That will be something, you know. I’ll be glad when it gets over and the game starts and I can enjoy it.’
Ronaldo faceing United on Tuesday, underneath a banner celebrating Ferguson’s time
The pair enjoyed much success together, winning nine trophies in just six years at Old Trafford