In a tragic moment of football, legendary manager, Walter Smith passed away on Tuesday morning at the ripe age of 73. Smith was renowned for his stints with Rangers ushering them to ten Scottish league titles, five Scottish Cups, six Scottish League Cups and to the final of the UEFA Cup in 2018.
His next moment of reckoning was when he managed the illustrious Everton for four long years. Post his stint with the Toffees, he shuffled his allegiance to Manchester United and played second fiddle to the iconic Sir Alex Ferguson for a solitary season.
The impact of Walter Smith at the Theatre of Dreams
Football fans have gathered outside Ibrox Stadium to pay tribute to late Rangers legend Walter Smith.
📸 Craig Williamson / SNS Group pic.twitter.com/BMDo3NovTv
— STV Sport (@STVSport) October 26, 2021Advertisement
Smith’s solitary season at Theatre of Dreams will be the opening season for Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford. When Ronaldo joined United, despite being a wily winger who could surely run rings around defenders, he had his physical limitations due to the brutal nature of the league.
Former Manchester United midfielder, Darren Fletcher was a part of the United squad back then and he explained how Smith would play an instrumental role in changing the fortunes of Ronaldo.
This is what Fletcher had to say about Walter Smith
Fletcher credited Ronaldo’s game change to Smith, citing, “With Ronaldo, you could always see his talent and ability – it was obvious, and that is why the club had signed him based on that pre-season game when he tore us apart playing for Sporting Lisbon. He was a charismatic kid who had the ability and drive to become the best player in the world but he frustrated the life out of everybody.”
Deeply saddened to hear about the passing of our former assistant Walter Smith. A truly great man ❤️ pic.twitter.com/JewCvGvRZT
— UnitedReds (@UnitedRedscom) October 26, 2021Advertisement
Fletcher said when Smith arrived, he made it a mandate that there will be no fouls given in training for the first two weeks. After this insane move, Ronaldo had to figure his way out to transcend himself from a posse of clattering boots targeting his shins as they knew that the Portuguese kid will have to endure the hardship if he had to move forward with his skills.
Smith’s unorthodox methods worked their magic for Ronaldo in the way that we all know as he dribbles past defenders at will.