Sir Alex rubbishes rumours of Ronaldo's partying

July 27, 2008

Sir Alex Ferguson has dismissed as 'a load of rubbish' reports that star player Cristiano Ronaldo has been partying excessively during his rehabilitation from ankle surgery.

The Portuguese winger has been spending time in the USA as he continues to recover from an operation, but while his recreational activities have been the subject of media speculation, Ferguson insists his visit is business orientated.

The Scot has also rejected suggestions that the 23-year-old, who remains the focus of intense interest from Spanish giants Real Madrid, has been drinking after revealing United have a representative in Ronaldo's party.

'He was always scheduled to have this time off in Los Angeles. There was no harm in going there,' said Ferguson. 'He was doing some commercial things. We have someone out there with him.

'All the stuff we have been seeing of him, well, it's a load of rubbish. He's not a drinker for a start. There was a report he had been drinking vodka but I spoke to the person we have with him and he said it's rubbish.

'He is not drinking. It's absolute nonsense.'

Ferguson conceded that Ronaldo faced a challenge in coping with the added celebrity that his stellar season last term brought, but refused to be drawn on comparisons with former Red Devils star David Beckham, whose lifestyle was believed to be one of the reasons Ferguson sold him to Madrid.

'As far as comparisons with him and David Beckham are concerned, I am not going to discuss that,' said Ferguson. 'Any young player is going to get attention. The important thing is how they handle that.

'We know success changes people but the change you like to see is an elevation in esteem and personality, which makes them better players a lot of the time.

'Cristiano is now reaching that stage with his maturity, personality and the presence he has had on the world stage. We should help him.'