Sir Alex Ferguson reminisced about his special relationship with Cristiano Ronaldo as he congratulated the football superstar on winning the Portuguese Player of the Year award for a record 10th time.
"Congratulations on a great achievement and a wonderful night you're going to have in Portugal," the former Manchester United manager said in a video message on Monday.
"I'm really sorry I can't be with you, but I look back and see you as a young lad at 17 years of age who came to Manchester United, how you have progressed as a human being and a fantastic sportsman," he said.
"I want to say to you, and your mother, and all your family, and all of your kids; well done."
Sir Ferguson said it had been an "absolute pleasure" for him to have known Ronaldo, "to have worked with, and to have seen you progress into the footballer you were."
Cristiano Ronaldo, who now plays as a forward for Serie A club Juventus and captains the Portugal national team, has expressed his admiration for Sir Alex Ferguson on various occasions in the past, referring to the legendary football manager as his 'football father'.
Ferguson brought Ronaldo to England from Sporting Lisbon in 2003 and later helped him realize his dream of playing for Real Madrid, despite his publically-avowed disdain for the club.
"Do you think I would get into a contract with that mob. Jesus Christ, no chance," Ferguson had said in December 2008, six months before Ronaldo's eventual move to Real Madrid. "I wouldn't sell them a virus."
The two still share a heartwarming relationship.