He said: “I honestly never thought about Cristiano not being with us, I really didn’t. I felt everything would be fine and I never had any real concerns.
“Obviously I had to convince Cristiano it wouldn’t be a problem but I was absolutely correct in that. All those idle threats, it was the same as when David Beckham got them, too.
“I told Cristiano he’d get booed – but every major United player gets booed away from home. It’s a mark of respect in a way. OK, he did get booed – but he handled it in the right way, as I knew he would.
“One of the things we thought about Cristiano as a young kid was that he had an incredible array of talents. His control, his balance, his pace and his ability with two feet.
“Since he joined us there have been developments in several parts of his game, decision-making in particular. And most important has been his goal-scoring, because we always felt he should be scoring a lot of goals, which he’s now doing.”