Phil Neville recalled a ‘really bad tackle’ he made on Cristiano Ronaldo, who then high-fived and congratulated his old Manchester United teammate.
Phil Neville, like his older brother Gary, came through the Manchester United youth system and featured prominently for the first-team before leaving in 2005 to join fellow Premier League side Everton.
The former England international’s arrival in Merseyside, however, wasn’t well-received because of his Red Devils past.
But one rough challenge three years later on former teammate Ronaldo changed everything in a fiery clash between Everton and United in October 2008 at Goodison Park.
Ronaldo could be seen coiling in pain on the ground after Neville’s desperate lounge.
Rio Ferdinand, Darren Fletcher, and Ryan Giggs were all left incensed and confronted Neville over his challenge. He eventually got a booking as the game ended in a 1-1 draw.
“They always said I was a Manc,” Neville told the UTD Podcast.
“The day I tackled Ronaldo, I did a really bad tackle on Ronaldo, was the day they changed their opinion on me because I went against the club they thought I loved.
“Do you know when you get those moments? You think, ‘I’ve got you here, I can go through you and win the ball’.
“And I thought, wow, it was like having a tap-in. Then Giggsy and Fletch, two of my mates, and Rio came towards me, effing and blinding.
“And I’m saying, ‘Guys, I’ve won the ball’. I was walking away and not one Everton player came and helped me.”
Unlike his teammates, Ronaldo’s reaction towards Neville was class.
“Ronaldo was absolutely brilliant,” revealed the 43-year-old. “He obviously rolled around, but the ball went up the other end.
“I was playing right-back and he was left-wing and he just high-fived and winked at me and said, ‘Great tackle, I’d have done the same thing’.
“It was great and Ronaldo was brilliant.”