United defender hopes Ronaldo is overcome by emotional in Champions League last-16.
Manchester United stalwart Rio Ferdinand says he hopes Cristiano Ronaldo chokes in tomorrow’s Champions League clash between United and Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernebeu.
Ronaldo is set to face his former club for the first time since his £80m switch to the Spanish capital in 2009 and the 28-year-old superstar warmed up in perfect style with a hat-trick against Sevilla on Saturday.
Ferdinand, 34, admits he is still in touch with the forward but says he hopes Ronaldo is overcome by the occasion.
“It’s obviously going to be an emotional night for Ronaldo and a great night for him too,” Ferdinand is quoted as saying by the Sport Review.
“But hopefully it gets too emotional for him.
“We’ve had a few texts, but when you get into a situation like this when you’re coming up against a friend, all the texts and the conversations go to one side and you don’t really speak until you actually get the game over and done with.
“He has a great rapport with the fans and there is a mutual respect between them both, which is great.
“The fans appreciated him when he was here and since he’s been gone they sing his name. He came here a young boy and left a world-class player. He showed a lot of respect when he left and still does.”
Ronaldo has scored a staggering 182 goals in 179 matches since joining Los Blancos and Ferdinand admits that the Red Devils will have to be at their best to contain the Portugal international – and his array of talented Real teammates.
“We’re going to have to use all of our experience, courage and ability to make sure that we stop not only Ronaldo, but the other players they have, because Real are a great team.
“They have so many other weapons. We could shut Ronaldo down for 90 minutes, but they still have players to hurt us, so we have to be compact and work hard.”