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24th Sep 2017

Final straw that saw Ruud van Nistelrooy leave Manchester United has been confirmed

So that's what happened

Darragh Murphy

Fresh light has been cast on the circumstances which saw Ruud van Nistelrooy’s time at Manchester United come to an end.

Supporters were always aware of some sort of falling-out had taken place between the Dutchman and the United manager at the time, Sir Alex Ferguson, but nobody was truly certain of the catalyst for their row until now, if the latest claims are to be believed.

Van Nistelrooy left Old Trafford in 2006 and while it was reported at the time that a training ground incident involving Cristiano Ronaldo played some part in his departure, the ins and outs of what was said have finally come out.

Former Labour communications chief Alastair Campbell, a long-time confidant of Fergie’s, discusses the van Nistelrooy situation during the latest series of diaries obtained by the Sunday Times.


In the report, the breakdown of the relationship between Fergie and van Nistelrooy went down as follows:

“In June 2006, Campbell met up with Ferguson again, this time in the south of France. The United manager was not sure what was going to happen with Ruud van Nistelrooy [Man U player]. Very self-centred. The last straw was when he told Cristiano Ronaldo he had found a new dad in Carlos [Queiroz, Ferguson’s assistant] – just after Ronaldo’s dad, who was an alcoholic, had died.

“Carlos asked him to show respect and he said he didn’t respect anyone there. He later apologised but CR was not having it. Alex sent van Nistelrooy home when he heard about it later. He was not sure what he was going to do with him.”

Van Nistelrooy scored 150 goals in 219 games for the Red Devils and is remembered fondly by United supporters although it remains unknown whether he and Ronaldo ever did manage to patch things up.