Roy Keane, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes tried to kick the diving out of Cristiano Ronaldo

Brooks Peck
Dirty Tackle

Cristiano Ronaldo developed a reputation for diving early in his career, but several of his old Manchester United teammates tried to kick the simulation out of him in training. This is according to Phil Neville, who was interviewed as part of an ITV documentary on Ronaldo.

From ITV:

"He dived a lot," Neville told ITV reporter Gabriel Clarke. "He tried to buy fouls and he came in for a lot of criticism. The boys [at Man Utd] were hard on him for his diving and it was putting us under pressure.

"I'd say the first 12 months there was a massive toughening up process. In training at the time you had [Roy] Keane, [Nicky] Butt, [Paul] Scholes, and every time he got the ball they kicked him and they kicked him – not just once, they kicked him every day, every week, all season."

This might explain that training ground tackle Cristiano used to welcome Gareth Bale to Real Madrid a few weeks ago. Perhaps he's in the process of doing the same thing for Bale, who was booked four times for simulation last season.