WATCH: Cristiano Ronaldo was once "knocked out" by a former Ireland defender 4 years ago

WATCH: Cristiano Ronaldo was once "knocked out" by a former Ireland defender

Phil Babb has been speaking about an encounter he had with Cristiano Ronaldo at Sporting Lisbon back in the day.

Babb, who was capped 35-times by the Republic of Ireland, played for the Portuguese club between 2000 and 2002, when Ronaldo was a youth-team player with a lot of promise.


Ronaldo would impress for Sporting in a friendly against Manchester United in 2003, and join the Premier League club soon after. However, before he left for Manchester, Ronaldo was given a taste of what to expect from defenders in England by Babb.

Phil Babb 30/5/2000

The former Liverpool and Sunderland defender, who played in all of Ireland's games at the 1994 World Cup, was up against Ronaldo in a training session one day, and clattered the youngster with a swing of his arm.

"Firstly, when he came into the dressing room for the first time he was really skinny, had this big mop of hair, a bit like Steve McManaman back then," Babb said on Fantasy Football Club.

"So, we're doing a training session, and it's set up as a back four, it's like attack vs defence. So, all the attackers are coming at you, this little kid runs at me, and he steps over twice, three times, goes past me, sticks it in the top bin.

"And all the lads are like that, 'Aw, Babbsy, he's had you off', in Portuguese, which I won't try and replicate.

"So, the next time he's coming at me, step over one way, step over the next, he shoots past me. I forearm chop him, right across - I knock him out!

"So, Ronaldo's on the floor, and I'm like, 'Nunca. Nunca mais', or something - 'Never more', or something like that. And he's looking at me, and he doesn't know what has happened. The training ground's gone quiet. And I'm just like, 'Nah'.

"I've had a massive influence on his career I think, just from that moment. Needless to say, he went over the other side (during the game)."