LONDON, April 30, 2011 (AFP) - Sir Alex Ferguson has ruled out any prospect of Cristiano Ronaldo making a dramatic return to Manchester United following hints of a rift between the player and Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho.
Ronaldo, who left United for Real in 2009 for a world record £80 million, expressed his dismay at Mourinho's negative tactics after the club's stormy Champions League semi-final defeat to Barcelona this week.
The striker was subsequently dropped by Mourinho from the squad for Madrid's La Liga match against Real Zaragoza.
However Ferguson played down any suggestions that Ronaldo was unhappy at the Bernabeu and could one day return to England.
"It would be very difficult," said Ferguson, when asked whether Ronaldo could come back. "He had a great time here but he is at a great club now too."
Ferguson, who has maintained a close relationship with Ronaldo, spoke to the player after travelling to Madrid to watch Wednesday's semi-final.
"I spoke to him after the game," Ferguson said. "He had a great time here, we got six years out of him. We got him as a kid and he went to Madrid a man.
"He is enjoying being there and though he might not have been at his best on Wednesday, he is still a great player."