'I marked CR7, now I'm a metro worker' — the fall of former Millwall full-back Robbie Ryan

'I marked CR7, now I'm a metro worker' — the fall of former Millwall full-back Robbie Ryan
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The Irishman's life has changed dramatically since the 2004 FA Cup final.

Robbie Ryan has featured in 226 league games for Millwall with his last appearance coming in the 2004 FA Cup final where he was tasked with marking a young Cristiano Ronaldo.

Speaking to the Independent, the Irishman said: "Ronaldo was thin but tall, more than I thought. Then of course, cool: you saw that he would become an incredible player. Maradona was great, but he and Lionel Messi are perhaps the strongest ever.

"Now I can tell it, 'I tried to mark CR7'. I never talk about games but I remember that after 3-4 minutes a ball bounced in my area, I could have spread it out but I didn't want to play the whole game with a yellow. Let's say that from then on it was tough: unfortunately he played on my side..."

Following the 2004 FA Cup final, which Manchester United won 3-0 with Ronaldo scoring the winner, Ryan played for the likes of Bristol Rovers and Welling United before retiring for good and changing careers.

The 43-year-old former full-back added: "Now I work for the London Underground: I work as a metro worker, I repair the lines when the trains are stopped. I didn't get rich with football, but I like the job, I have a nice family and I don't miss the ball."

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Source: Independent

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