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Page last updated at 12:34 GMT, Sunday, 27 July 2008 13:34 UK

Ferguson unfazed by Ronaldo trip

Cristiano Ronaldo attends the ESPY awards in Los Angeles
Ronaldo has attended several celebrity events in LA

Sir Alex Ferguson insists he has no qualms about Cristiano Ronaldo spending time in Los Angeles as he recovers from his recent ankle operation.

The Manchester United manager revealed the club have sent an employee to accompany the Portuguese winger.

"He was always scheduled to have this time off in Los Angeles. There was no harm in going there," said Ferguson.

"He's doing some commercial things. I think he's signed up with an LA-based company. I've someone there with him."

Ferguson dismissed as "a load of rubbish" reports Ronaldo has been drinking and partying excessively during his rehabilitation.

Refusing to be drawn on comparisons with David Beckham's lifestyle, the United boss believes Ronaldo must use the extra attention he now receives to his advantage when he returns to action.

"Any young player is going to get attention. The important thing is how they handle that," Ferguson noted.

"We know success changes people but the change you like to see is an elevation in esteem and personality, which makes them better players a lot of the time.

"That's the case with him. At 23 Cristiano is reaching that stage where his maturity, personality and the presence he has on the world stage should help him."

Ferguson said Ronaldo, currently on crutches, is scheduled to have his plaster removed in eight days' time, at which point he will return to United to start his rehabilitation.

He is likely to be sidelined until the end of September, missing their opening five Premier League matches, including games at Liverpool and Chelsea, plus the Uefa Super Cup against Zenit St Petersburg.

United beat Kaizer Chiefs 4-0 in Pretoria on Saturday in the latest match of their South Africa tour, Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney and substitutes Tom Cleverley and Fraizer Campbell all on the scoresheet.

They have subsequently flown to Nigeria, where a different line-up - including Gary Neville as he continues his comeback - will play Portsmouth in an exhibition game.

see also
Man Utd keen to seal Tevez deal
26 Jul 08 |  Man Utd
Ferguson warns Ronaldo over Real
21 Jul 08 |  Man Utd

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