Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United: Ranking his 5 greatest moments with The Red Devils
Cristiano Ronaldo is back to Manchester United after 12 years. Having previously played with the Red Devils for six seasons, he had considerable success, as we rank his top five moments at Old Trafford.
Portuguese sensation Cristiano Ronaldo has made a startling return to Manchester United after 12 years, sending not just the Red Devils fans but the entire football world frenzy. It marks the end of years of speculation that he would be coming home.
In his initial stint at Old Trafford, Ronaldo has had considerable success, scoring goals aplenty and winning all the titles. As he looks to replicate the same magic again, we rank his five greatest moments with the Red Devils.
The debut that put the world on notice
During a pre-season friendly against Ronnie's boyhood club, Sporting Lisbon, he had drawn the attention of quite a few United players, including then-manager Sir Alex Ferguson. After several players urged Freggie to sign him up, the Portuguese moved for £12 million and played his debut match against Bolton Wanderers. He was immediately on the scoring sheet. While United scored five goals in the game, with Ronaldo scoring once, his goal, followed by his exquisite gameplay display and dribbling abilities, put the world on notice.
First major title
In 2004, he won his first major title, as he won the FA Cup with the side in his debut season. United was up against a relatively easy opponent Millwall from the Championship, as it became a piece of cake for the Devils and Ronaldo himself. At the same time, the latter displayed his sheer class once again, as the Portuguese opened the scoring in the 43rd minute to light up the Millennium Stadium and ride to a comfortable 3-0 win.
The wink that raised eyebrows
Well, this was not exactly a moment at United, but it still surrounds United. During the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Portugal was up against England, during which Ronnie's United counterpart, Wayne Rooney, was sent off. Furthermore, Ronaldo displayed no remorse as he winked at Rooney as the latter walked off, raising quite a few eyebrows in England and making him a hated figure, while Portugal won the clash. Nevertheless, there were no hard feelings between the two teammates, as Ronaldo was inspired to turn the hatred into the love of his fans, scoring the winner against Manchester City to win his maiden EPL crown in 2006-07, besides finishing as the Player of the Season.
The free-kick that shocked the world
If there has to be an iconic moment for Ronaldo at United, it has to be a free-kick. During a home game against Portsmouth, Ronaldo took an incredible 30-yard free-kick, which went straight into the right top corner of the goal, as opponent goalkeeper David James stood his ground as a spectator, confused as to what he could have done. While Ronaldo made it looked elementary from all angles, it was indeed a magical moment that is still cherished by millions worldwide and EPL itself.
Ballon d'Or and Puskas Award
Ronaldo won his maiden Ballon d'Or title in 2008, right after steering United to the UCL win the same season. Interestingly, there was a significant difference between him and his closest competitor Lionel Messi, as Ronaldo led by 150 votes. The following year, he also won the Puskas Award for the best European goal, as it was against Porto in the UCL quarters when he scored a 35-metre wonder, which he himself terms as his best ever.
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