Ex-Manchester United masseur reveals Cristiano Ronaldo asking bizarre request for X Factor stars’ numbers

A former masseur for Manchester United has disclosed an odd assignment Cristiano Ronaldo gave him in the early 2000s.

Rod Thornley, who spent 19 years working for United between 2000 and 2019, claims that he once assisted the superstar footballer by obtaining the phone numbers of two X Factor contestants in exchange for a bargain Porsche.

On the Undr the Cosh podcast with Chris Brown and Jon Parkin, Thornley remembered the day Ronaldo requested him to obtain Dannii Minogue’s phone number.

Whose number did Ronaldo ask the masseur to get?

He said, “It’s the night before a game; we’re at the Lowry Hotel. He was having a massage with me, so he was on my bed, and I’m rubbing his legs with the X-Factor on TV. ‘Who is this girl?’ And it was Dannii Minogue, ‘Can you get me her number?’.”

“And I’m like f****** hell masseur for Man Utd, how am I going to get her number? Well, actually, I’m a man of many means, and within four or five days, I’ve got Dannii Minogue’s number in my phone.”

Minogue was an X-Factor judge at the time. Pussycat Doll Kimberley Wyatt appeared as a guest star on the program, which apparently inspired Ronaldo to ask for the same thing.

Thornley said he made an agreement with Cristiano to ensure that his efforts were not going to unpaid.

He added, “I said ‘What’s in this for me? I’m dogging away getting girls’ numbers for you, what is in it for me? He said, ‘OK, you want my car?’ He had a Porsche Carrera convertible, and he said: ‘When I go to Real Madrid, I’ll sell you my car at half-price’, and I said OK. It took me about 10 minutes to get her number – and I passed it on him to him.”

According to Thornley, who departed United in 2019, Ronaldo sold him the Porsche at the end of the season for £30,000, “and the next day I sold it for £60,000.”

Cristiano Ronaldo now

Cristiano is now happily together with Georgina and has six children.

The Portuguese sensation joined Saudi Pro League side Al Nassr in January after parting ways with Manchester United. The star footballer was offered a contract that made him the world’s best-paid player.

Cristiano had a dream start to life and scored eight goals, including two hat tricks in the Saudi Pro League, and even won the Player of the Month award for February. Cristiano Ronaldo has 11 goals in nine Saudi Pro League appearances with Al Nassr FC. In total, he has 11 goals in 11 games for the Riyadh-based squad.

Ronaldo not in Al Nassr's squad for Al Tai game | Reuters

CR7 had a promising start with Al Nassr, but he has now gone two games without scoring. Ronaldo will hope to score again to help his team win the next game. But they suffered a setback after a 2-0 loss against rivals Al Hilal. They are now three points behind league leaders Al Ittihad. 

Cristiano Ronaldo and Al-Nassr will probably have to divert their attention from the Saudi Pro League. As they have a King Cup of Champions matchup against Al Wehda on Tuesday.

Fazal Al Bashar

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Fazal is a passionate soccer aficionado, who when not discovering the latest soccer stories and rumors, indulges in playing FIFA all night. While he sucks at the sport, he knows the who and what in all things soccer-related.


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