‘Congratulations on a great achievement,’ Ferguson said. ‘I am really sorry I can’t be with you.
‘I look back, I see as a young lad at 17 years of age when you came to Manchester United, how you’ve progressed as a human being and a fantastic sportsman.
‘I want to say to you, your mother, all your family and your kids; well done.
‘You have been a pleasure for me to have known, to have worked with and to have seen you progress into the footballer you are.
‘Good luck, have a great night and well done.’
Ferguson signed Ronaldo from Sporting Lisbon when he was 17, and the Portugal star won the Premier League three times and the Champions League once at Old Trafford.