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Footage shows teenage Cristiano Ronaldo being helped out by Gary Neville in very first Manchester United interview in English

Cristiano Ronaldo is famed for his confidence, even arrogance, on and off the pitch, but that wasn’t always the case.

When he first joined Manchester United as a teenager, in a £12.24million deal from Sporting Lisbon, he was not quite fluent in English and in his very first post-match interview he needed a helping hand.

Ronaldo was not fluent in English at the time and needed help


Ronaldo was not fluent in English at the time and needed helpCredit: Sky Sports
Neville stepped in and gave the teenage Ronaldo a helping hand


Neville stepped in and gave the teenage Ronaldo a helping handCredit: Sky Sports

Following a 1-0 win over Leicester in April 2004, with Gary Neville scoring a rare winner, the pair were interviewed after the match.

United legend Neville is seen asking the Sky Sports reporter if he wants the then 18-year-old Ronaldo to speak on camera.

Neville then beckons over his teammate and tells him to do the interview in English.

He says: “Come on, it’s the first interview where you can speak English.”

Neville even gave him a few tips on what to say… like ‘I enjoyed game. I dribble very well’, which sent everyone into hysterics.

Ronaldo then said: “It was a good game. The team win. It’s important.”

He was then asked if he was feeling more and more confident with every game, and he did not understand, even with Neville’s help.

Neville then stepped in and answered for him as the teenager was still getting to grips with the language.

Ronaldo signed for Man United in 2003


Ronaldo signed for Man United in 2003Credit: Getty

“Yeah he is confident, always wants the ball, dribbles at players and makes it very difficult for them. Ian Walker [Leicester goalkeeper] had to make a lot of good saves.

“It’s easy for people to think it’s easy to settle into this club. It’s a big price tag and he’s only 18 years of age.

“To adapt the way he has from a foreign country has been incredible. He’s a very good player.”

It didn’t take Ronaldo long to become fluent, though, and to become one of the best players in the world.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner went on to collect nine trophies at Man United, including three Premier League titles and the Champions League before a world record move to Real Madrid.

Not only did he become fluent in English, as well as his native Portuguese, but he can also speak Spanish and Italian.

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