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Freddy Adu: Cristiano Ronaldo is an amazing person - he offered to take me out to dinner

Manchester United trialist Freddy Adu
(Image credit: Getty)

Former Manchester United trialist and one-time wonderkid Freddy Adu has been recounting the time that his path crossed with Cristiano Ronaldo, in an interview with BritishGambler.co.uk.

Adu was hyped as a 14-year-old in the United States and labelled as "the next Pele" when he signed as a teenager for DC United. He became the youngest player to score in the MLS around this time and was taken on trial by United.

The teenager not able to gain a work permit and so could not play in any competitive games, instead training with several players from the Carrington academy. It was while in the northwest of England that Adu met the squad, with one player in particular impressing him.

"I was there for almost a month and I got to meet everybody like Wayne Rooney – and it was when Manchester United were at the peak of their powers," Adu told the website. "Cristiano Ronaldo was there at the time and it was when he was becoming the best player in the world. Scholes was still there, Giggs was still there – it was amazing!

"Everybody is always talking about Ronaldo is arrogant, he is this and that, but let me tell you that out of all of the players that were there – he was the one person out of all of them that made it a point to come to me, to talk to me, offered to take me to dinner.

"I mean, he was an amazing person. Of course, I already had huge respect for Ronaldo, but after that, I had so much respect for him and he literally became my favourite player just because of the kind of person that he was and what I witnessed."

During his trial at United, Adu was given no promises but says that Sir Alex Ferguson was impressed with him as a player. Had he have kept up his rapid ascension, he may well have joined the Old Trafford side later in his career. 

"At that point I was so young, I had the contract with DC United and The MLS wasn’t ready to let me go anywhere at that point," he says. "So we spoke with Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson who said he was going to keep an eye on me, and to keep doing what I was doing.

"He would have been more than perfect for me. Being a young player, you don’t see it that same way when you’re younger, you just see it as ‘I’m a good football player and I’m ready to play right now’, you’re not thinking about your development but the adults or coaches in the room, they are the ones that are very important. 

"I had some coaches that were not into giving young players a chance. I did not go to stations where I could just develop and not have that ‘pressure’ of being ‘the next Pele’ and not have to contribute right away."

Despite his experience with United, however, Adu says that he doesn't support the club. To this day, he's a follower of United's closest geographical rivals - and he can't even be accused of being a glory supporter. 

"When I was younger my favourite colour, and still is to this day, was sky blue," he says, of his love for Manchester City. "I was a kid and I just liked the shirt colour so much, that I became a City fan!"

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Mark White

Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. He is a keen player of the Football Manager series and creates Twitter accounts for his Fantasy Premier League team every year, before losing interest in his team every September.