Cristiano Ronaldo’s former Sporting Lisbon team-mate Vitali Kutuzov reveals how the Man United star once bought a Mercedes ‘before he knew how to drive it’ when he was a teenager… as he recalls his ‘hunger’ to succeed as a youngster
- Cristiano Ronaldo’s old team-mate has revealed what he was like as a teenager
- Vitali Kutuzov told how he bought a Mercedes before he could drive it aged 17
- The pair shared a room at Sporting Lisbon when Ronaldo burst onto the scene
- Belarusian Kutuzov, then on loan from Milan, recalled his ‘hunger’ to succeed
Cristiano Ronaldo was so passionate about cars as a teenager he once bought a Mercedes before he knew how to drive it, according to the Manchester United star’s former Sporting Lisbon team-mate.
Ronaldo began his career in his native Portugal with Lisbon before quickly emerging as one of the hottest talents in world football, and during his first and only full season with the club he struck up a friendship with on-loan Belarusian star Vitali Kutuzov – who had arrived from AC Milan in 2002-2003.
The former striker revealed how the pair would often share a room together, and recalled a time when the future United, Real Madrid and Juventus star purchased a brand new shiny car – before even being able to legally drive it at the age of 17.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s former Sporting Lisbon team-mate Vitali Kutuzov (R) has recalled how the Portuguese forward once bought a Mercedes before he could drive it
Kutuzov said Ronaldo had an ‘incredible satisfaction’ at owning the Mercedes aged just 17
Ronaldo and Kutuzov (pictured in training) shared a room together during the 02-03 season
‘We were in the team together for only one year, but it was often him and I’ Kutuzov said in an interview with Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio. ‘On many occasions, we also shared a room. ‘I remember when he got his first car, a Mercedes that he didn’t even know [how to] drive. But his satisfaction of arriving at the field with a car that he bought was incredible.’
Ronaldo has long had a love affair with cars – with the 37-year-old often seen posing alongside his most prized vehicles at his properties.
The five-time Ballon D’or winner has an incredible collection of cars worth a reported £17million – including a brand new Bentley Flying Spur, which he has been seen driving into United’s Carrington training ground. It has a value of around £164,000.
Ronaldo has always had a huge passion for cars and owns a huge collection of vehicles
The Manchester United star’s amazing collection is worth a reported £17million
Ronaldo also boasts a host of super cars including three Ferraris, two Lamborghinis, two Burgattis, two McLarens, two Rolls-Royce, a Porsche 911 Turbo and many Audi and Mercedes-AMGs.
During their time together, Kutuzov said he shared his experiences of rubbing shoulders with some top players at AC Milan with Ronaldo – who was interested to hear about his career at the San Siro.
‘We were two children in a team of champions that had won everything,’ he added.
‘He was 17 years old, I was 21. The goal was to show myself. He asked me questions about Milan and what it was like to train with players of that calibre.’
Kutuzov – now 42 and retired after a career mostly spent in Italy with Sampdoria, Parma and Bari – had plenty of superlatives for Ronaldo after watching him closely before his rise to superstardom.
Kutuzov said Ronaldo had showed ‘hunger’ to score goals and hailed him for becoming a ‘complete’ player today
He noticed how ‘hungry’ he was to score goals and said he could now see a transformation into a ‘complete’ player having started his career as ‘more of a dribbler’.
‘He was hungry to finish off [chances], although now he is a different player [now],’ he continued. ‘At that time he was more of a dribbler. Today he is complete and contributes in every way.’
Ronaldo would go on to join United for a first time in 2003-2004 – scoring 118 goals in 292 appearances, wininng the Champions League in 2008 and the Premier League title three times before sealing an £80m move to Real Madrid.
At the Bernabeu, he became a legend of the club with four Champions League triumphs and two LaLiga wins – blitzing 450 goals in 438 games before moving to Juventus.
In Italy he smashed in another 101 strikes, winning two Serie A titles and the Copa Del Rey before sealing a fairytale return to United last summer.