Cristiano Ronaldo created more history in his remarkable career playing for Juventus vs Sassuolo on Sunday night in Northern Italy.
The five time Ballon d’Or winner scored the 759th goal of his incredible career which, according to official records, equals the legendary Czech striker Josef Bican’s 66-year record for most official goals scored for club and country.
The Portuguese superstar came to Manchester United as a flashy 18-year-old playing for Sport Lisbon in a pre-season friendly at the inauguration of the Estadio Jose Alvalade in August 2003. Sporting C.P defeated United 3-1 with Cristiano Ronaldo catching the eye as he bamboozled experienced defender John O’Shea throughout the match with his speed, aggressive running and natural flair on the ball.
The United players famously told manager Sir Alex Ferguson not to leave the stadium without signing the Portuguese starlet and Ferguson agreed to pay Sporting Lisbon £12.24 million for his services, as per The Mirror.
Manchester United boss hailed the signing of such an exciting young player and described Cristiano Ronaldo as “one of the most exciting young players he had ever seen”.
Cristiano Ronaldo became Manchester United’s first ever Portuguese player when he was signed in August 2003. The transfer fee of £12.24 million paid for Ronaldo by United made him at the time the most expensive teenager in English football history. The club handed the young Portuguese prospect the iconic number 7 shirt, which has been previously worn by United legends such as George Best, Eric Cantona and David Beckham. Ronaldo developed into one of the most exciting and dynamic players in world football at Old Trafford under the guidance of manager Sir Alex Ferguson and it was their close relationship which was an important factor in Ronaldo’s development.
Ronaldo stated that Sir Alex Ferguson “was his father in sport, and one of the most important and influential factors in my career” in an interview when he was asked about his close relationship with the United boss. Cristiano Ronaldo developed into one of the best players in the world during his six seasons at Old Trafford scoring an impressive 113 goals in 259 appearances for the Red Devils.
He won three consecutive Premier League titles, the famous Champions League victory over Chelsea in 2008 and the pinnacle of his career at United winning the FIFA Ballon d’Or the same year. Manchester United fans worship the Portuguese superstar, still singing his name on the terraces at Old Trafford and remember fondly his illustrious career at Old Trafford before he moved to Spanish giants Real Madrid in 2009.
Ronaldo continued his stratospheric rise and became one of the best players in the world during his nine seasons in the Spanish capital winning 15 major trophies with the Los Blancos. The rivalry between Ronaldo and Argentinian genius Lionel Messi captured the world of footballs attention for the best part of a decade as they both terrorised defences throughout Europe in their battle to be regarded as the best player of all time. The Portuguese star rewrote the history books and became Real Madrid’s all-time leading goal scoring netting 451 goals in 438 appearances (averaging over a goal per game).
Questions were asked when Ronaldo transferred to Italian giants Juventus in the summer of 2018 and if he would be able to perform in the notoriously defensive Serie A as he approaches the latter stages of his career. The ever green Ronaldo has silenced his critics as he continues to terrorise Italian defences on a weekly basis scoring a staggering 84 goals in 106 appearances for the Bianconeri in two and half seasons. Ronaldo is showing no signs of slowing down at the age of 35 and will continue to rewrite the history books as long as his illustrious career continues for.
Manchester United fans will remember Cristiano Ronaldo fondly for his six remarkable years at Old Trafford and down below we are going to look at my top five goals scored by the GOAT for the Red Devils.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s Top Five Goals for Manchester United
5. Ronaldo’s first goal for the club against Portsmouth
Cristiano Ronaldo’s first goal for the club was with a free-kick in a 3-0 win over Portsmouth on 1st November 2003 in the Premier League at Old Trafford. Ronaldo took a quick free kick and caught Pompey goalkeeper Shaka Hislop out at his near post with the keeper getting a hand to it as the ball went into the top corner. The free kick made it 2-0 to the Red Devils before Roy Keane made it 3-0 two minutes later to put the game to bed. Ronaldo capped off an impressive first season at the club winning the FA Cup and scoring in the 3-0 final win over Millwall to collect his first piece of silverware for the Red Devils.
4. Ronaldo’s scintillating counter attack away to the Gunners in the Champions League 2009
Cristiano Ronaldo was in brilliant form as he ran riot away at Arsenal in the 2009 Champions League semi-final in a 3-1 victory. It was Ronaldo’s second goal of the game that is fourth on the list which was a terrific counter attack involving Park Ji Sung, Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo which saw the Red Devils progress to the 2009 Champions League final. The counter attack was started by Ronaldo producing a deft flick to set Park who was excellent in the engine room throughout the match who took the ball in his stride and needed just one touch before finding Wayne Rooney on the left flank. Meanwhile, Ronaldo was sprinting at full speed on the right flank to support the attack. Rooney picked up the ball and found the Portuguese superstar in the Gunners box with an in-perfect pass. Ronaldo smashed the ball first time past Gunners keeper’ Manuel Almunia to finish the game at 3-1 as United knocked out Arsenal to progress to the Champions League final against Barcelona. It was a breath taking counter attack which showcased how devastating Ronaldo and Rooney’s partnership was during their time together at Manchester United. The Red Devils eventually lost the final to the brilliant Barcelona team managed by Pep Guardiola and Cristiano Ronaldo finally sealed his dream transfer to Real Madrid that same summer.
3. Cristiano Ronaldo’s knuckleball free kick against Portsmouth in 2008
Perhaps one of Cristiano Ronaldo’s best goals in the colours of Manchester United came against Pompey in January 2008. The Red Devils were hosting Portsmouth in the Premier League and Ronaldo continued to prove why he was quickly becoming one of the best players in the world with a world class free kick. Ronaldo was positioned slightly to the left of the Portsmouth goal and was around 25-yards out from the goals. He used his infamous knuckleball technique connecting perfectly as the ball cleared the wall and dipped just at the last moment as it flew past David James into the top right corner of the net. It was an amazing free kick which had the Old Trafford faithful rocking inside the stadium as the hapless David James picked the ball out of his net. Ronaldo scored an impressive 31 goals in 34 Premier League appearances as United won the Premier League and Champions League in 2008.
2. Free kick away to Arsenal in the Champions League Semi Final 2009
Second on the list is Ronaldo’s 40-yard scorcher against Arsenal. The same game appears twice on this list and for good reason as Cristiano Ronaldo terrorised the Gunners throughout both legs as United progressed to the Champions League final. This goal is the most important goal Cristiano Ronaldo scored for United, as they had marginally won the first leg at home 1-0 and needed an away goal at the Emirates Stadium. The Red Devils took an early lead against the Gunners as South Korean Park Ji Sung pounced on Kieran Gibbs mistake for a close range finish. Cristiano Ronaldo scored perhaps the most outrageous free kick of his career to make It 2-0 to United scoring from 40-yards out past Arsenal keeper Manuel Almunia. The shot was so powerful and had the correct amount of swerve as the ball flew past the Arsenal keeper’ to give United a commanding 2-0 lead. The game was put to bed thanks to another impressive Ronaldo finish to make it 3-1 as United progressed to the Champions League final.
1. Wonder goal against Porto away in the Champions League quarter-finals
The best goal Cristiano Ronaldo scored for the Red Devils in his six years at the club came against his boyhood clubs arch rivals FC Porto in the Champions League quarter finals in 2009. Ronaldo’s stunning 40-yard screamer in the sixth minute was enough to see Manchester United into the last four of the Champions League at the Estadio do Dragao in 2009. Ronaldo picked up possession inside the Porto half before launching a 40 yard thunderbolt that caught out Porto goalkeeper Helton, silencing the home crowd as he returned to Portugal making a statement. The goal showcased Cristiano Ronaldo’s unbelievable development at Old Trafford and proved why he was named the 2008 Ballon d’Or winner (via The Guardian) the previous month.