Freddy Adu has opened up about his experience of meeting Cristiano Ronaldo when he went on trial with Manchester United as a youngster.
Adu began his remarkable career as a 14-year-old when he was picked first in the MLS Super Draft by DC United in January 2004.
The attacking midfielder was hyped as the future of American soccer and dubbed the next Pele by an excitable press.
While still under contract with DC United, he had a trial with Manchester United in 2006, with Sir Alex Ferguson wanting to take a look at him up close.
Adu went to Carrington and was blown away by his chance to train with the stars, including Ronaldo, who made a particular impression on him.
Asked if any of the United players gave him advice, Adu toldBritishGambler.co.uk: “Cristiano Ronaldo!
“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.”
Adu never got the big move to United that he had dreamed of and went on to play for 15 clubs in nine different countries during a journeyman career.
The 32-year-old has not played a professional match for three years, but he has not entirely given up on his career.
But whether Adu, who most recently played for Swedish side Osterlen, can fashion a comeback or not, he will always have the memories of his time spent playing alongside Ronaldo at United.
“We had a little bit of a talk – I mostly trained with the U23s when I was there as I was only 16 years old at the time, but I did get a couple of training sessions in with the first team and it was awesome,” Adu said.
“We actually played against the first team and I played really well during that game as I was so amped up!
“It was amazing to be around there, to see the levels they were at. 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.
“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.”
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