FORMER Manchester United full-back Fabio da Silva has revealed what Cristiano Ronaldo told him before his debut for the club 12 years ago.
The Brazilian defender made his first start for United alongside the Portuguese superstar in an FA Cup fourth round win over Tottenham in January 2009.
And Fabio has now spoken about the direct impact Ronaldo had on him and the advice he offered ahead of that match.
Speaking to ESPN Brasil via Sport Witness, he said: “Ronaldo helped me a lot there. I didn’t speak English at all, or practically nothing. Not even ‘water’. He helped me and my brother a lot.
“I’m very grateful to him. My first game, I don’t forget, against Tottenham, I was 18 years old. I have a photo with him to this day.
“Before the game, he came to me, hugged me and said: ‘From the middle to the front, you can do whatever you want. From the middle to the back, don’t try to do anything, because you might lose the ball and I can’t get it back for you’. Those were the words he used.
“It shows how much he helps and will help young people at Manchester United.
"That’s why I thought his signing was super right. Young people seeing the 36-year-old guy, working, running, for everything he’s achieved.”
Ronaldo left Old Trafford just six months after Fabio's full debut as he joined Real Madrid for what was a record transfer fee.
He has now returned to Man Utd 12 years later and instantly hit the ground running in front of goal.
The 36-year-old sensation has netted five times in five appearances for the Red Devils, taking his overall goal tally for the club to 123.
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He will make his 200th Premier League appearance for United when he takes to the field against Everton on Saturday lunchtime.
Manchester United currently sit fourth in the table, one point behind Liverpool at the top.
But, despite dramatically beating Villarreal in the Champions League in midweek, they were beaten in the Prem last time out, losing 1-0 to Aston Villa.
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