Cristiano Ronaldo: Ferguson denied Portuguese Man United captaincy to maintain team unity - Neville

Cristiano Ronaldo: Ferguson denied Portuguese Man United captaincy to maintain team unity - Neville

- Cristiano Ronaldo was denied a chance to become Man United's captain by Sir Alex Ferguson

- Gary Neville made this revelation years after leaving the Red Devils

- The retired player turned pundit said his former boss believed handing the Portuguese the armband would cause rancour in the team

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Manchester United legend Gary Neville has revealed that former boss Sir Alex Ferguson denied Cristiano Ronaldo the club's captaincy armband to maintain the team chemistry.

The 45-year-old lasted about 19 years at Old Trafford winning eight Premier Leagues and two Champions League titles among others.

During his reign at the club, he was their captain for five good seasons but he was bothered with so much injury concerns.

After realising that he was spending more time on the sidelines, Neville pitched an idea to the legendary manager about making someone else the leader of the team.

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And the former England defender has lifted the lid on the legendary Scot's stance.

"I got injured a year after taking the captaincy and that became really difficult for me," Neville told Sky Sports.

"It felt as though I wasn’t contributing like a captain should be for my last four years. I actually went to see Sir Alex in pre-season about the third year I was captain.

"We had an amazing team: Ronaldo, Rooney, [Carlos] Tevez, [Ryan] Giggs, [Paul] Scholes, [Michael] Carrick, [Rio] Ferdinand, [Nemanja] Vidic, [Patrice] Evra, [Edwin] van der Sar… there were some great personalities and players in that group.

"I went over to Sir Alex walking onto the training pitch and said, 'I don’t feel worthy of keeping the captaincy anymore. This team is to a level I can’t compete at'.

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"He said, 'You’ll keep that f-ing armband, son.' The reason he gave me: 'You and Giggs will rotate it. If I give it to Ronaldo, Rooney will kick-off. If I give it to Rooney, Ronaldo will kick-off. If I give it to Vidic, Ferdinand won’t be happy'.

"So literally I think me and Giggsy kept it for three or four years beyond that just purely because of the fact the camaraderie in the dressing room. We were the policemen if you like, the older statesmen.

"Sir Alex wanted to make sure the team came first. Even though I felt unworthy as a captain at that stage."

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