October 27, 2021 || 6:28 am

How Walter Smith elevated 18-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo’s game at Manchester United

Walter Smith’s unconve’ntional trai’ning meth’ods paid divid’ends for Cris’tiano Ronaldo – pushing him to impr’ove af’ter 1st arriving in Man’chester.

Legend’ary foo”tball m”anager Walt’er Sm’ith sa”’dly pass’ed away on Tues’day morning aged 73.

Smith was b”est kno’wn for his 2 spells with Ra”n”gers, “guid”ing the team he sup”ported as a boy to 10 Scottis’h lea”gue ti’tles, 5 Scottish Cups, 6 Scottish League Cup’s and to the fina’l of t’he UE’FA Cup in 2008.

He would also spent 4′ years as a Premie’r Leagu’e manager wit’h Everton.

After his spell in Merse’yside, Smith joined S’ir Alex Ferguson, becomin’g Manchester United ‘s assista’nt man’ager – where he would serve duri’ng a sin’gle season.


And althoug’h his tim”e in Manche’ster wo’uld be short, Smith made a hefty imp’ression on a numb’er of Unit”’ed players – includi’ng Cristia’no Ron’aldo.


Smith’s seas’on as assist’ant manager wo’uld be Ronaldo’s first year as a Unit’ed pla’yer.

When he joine’d in the sum’mer of 2003, the Portug”uese win’ger certainly alrea’dy sho’wn his talent, but has been” undersized for the Premier’ League – a real concern for Fergu’son.


Darren Fletc’her w’as a midf’ielder was part of the’ first-team squad at the club that s’e’ason, and has previou’sly rec’ounted Smith’s pivotal ‘role in Unit’ed’s tra’ining that helped develop Rona’ldo’s gam’e that seas’on.


When asked who h’ad the big’gest impact on Ron’aldo’s quick change in developm””ent that season, Fletcher respo’nded: “Wal’ter Smith, when’ he joine’d as assistant manager.

“With Rona’ldo, you cou”ld al’ways see his tale’nt and abi’lity – it was obviou’s, and th’at is wh’y the club had signed him bas’ed on th’at pre-season game when he tor’e us apart play’ing for’ Sporting Lisbon.

“He was a charis’matic ki’d who had the abili’ty and dri’ve to become the best pla’yer in the world bu’t he frustr’ated the life out of everybody.


Ole Gunnar Solskj’aer’s ten’ure as Manchester Uni’ted manager is looking fra’gile after the humiliat’ing 5-0 defe’at to Liverpool.

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Everybody thou”ght that if he could learn, it w’ould take him up to the next level ‘and then Walter Smith came in and decided not to give fouls in traini’ng.

“But Walter sai’d that there would be no fouls and ‘for two weeks, Ronaldo was te’aring his hair out.

“He was going ban’anas because it was open seaso’n for fouling him.”

Smith’s meth’ods would certainly reap their bene’fits for Ronaldo – going on to bec’ome one of the greate’st playe’rs of all-t’ime.




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