Ferdinand says, Ronaldo knew he would score despite having a bad game against Villareal

Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United-Premier League-19-03-2007
Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United-Premier League-19-03-2007 - IMAGO / PA Images

Former Manchester United defender, Rio Ferdinand has revealed that Cristiano Ronaldo texted him saying he knew he would score against Villarreal despite having a poor game.

The Portuguese star struck a last-gasp winner for Manchester United as they came from behind to win at Old Trafford.

Paco Alcacer had given the visitors a lead early in the second half after the first 45 minutes in which the Spanish side were wasteful in front of the goal.

But defender Alex Telles equalised for the hosts with a superb volley. However, Ronaldo, who was making a record 178th appearance in the Champions League, struck a winner to spare United’s blushes and get their campaign back on track.

According to the Dailymail, Ferdinand praised the calming and inspirational impact Ronaldo has on his teammates and also revealed that the Portuguese messaged him after the game.

“He (Ronaldo) text me tonight saying ”I didn’t’ play well but I knew I’d score,” Ferdinand said.

“That’s the belief that he has. The other players are feeding off it. It’s a great place to be.

“United’s performance today wasn’t great. It wasn’t at the level Ole wants it to be. But when you need a goal, a moment to galvanise the squad, the stadium, the fanbase, Cristiano Ronaldo steps up.

“He wants to be that guy the chance falls to. His goal record says it all. He’s there for the big moments. He’s a big part of that too.

“When you have a player like Cristiano Ronaldo, the players in the dressing room are given life. There’s a lease of life, belief because they know if the chance comes, he will put them away.

“‘It gives you that ability to be relaxed. It was the biggest thing in our team. When you get under even more pressure and you can see the clock ticking, you don’t panic. We were very composed because we believed the chances would come.”

The goal was the 12th time the 36-year-old had scored a Champions League goal in the 90th minute or later – double closest rival Lionel Messi’s tally of six.

Solskjaer also hailed Ronaldo for his heroics at Old Trafford, while praising him for his impact on the club.

“When you have Cristiano on the pitch, you always have a chance,” Solskjaer said.

He is so good in front of goal and has an impact on everyone—the crowd, the players, the whole club.

He’s done that so many times. When you saw him (for Portugal) against Ireland a month ago, he missed a penalty early and didn’t touch the ball more or less, but scored two great headers in the last few minutes.

“That’s what he’s done throughout his career. He stays in the game. I’ve seen him all day, the way he’s built up for this game and when he gets that one chance, it’s a goal.

“He had a couple of half-chances but a true mark of a great finisher is that he keeps calm when the chance arrives.”