Ten years ago to the day, Manchester United signed Cristiano Ronaldo from Sporting Lisbon for just over £12 million.
The 18-year-old Portuguese winger wasn’t even United’s most exciting signing that season with Brazil’s World Cup winner Kleberson stealing most of the limelight and nobody expected Ronaldo’s impact at United to be as profound as it was.
Ronaldo set out with the target of helping the team achieve more success and his six year association at the club was littered with silverware. Three Premier League titles, one UEFA Champions League, one FA Cup, two Carling Cups and one FIFA World Club Cup.
“I am very happy to be signing for the best team in the world, and especially proud to be the first Portuguese player to join Manchester United. I look forward to helping the team achieve even more success in the years to come.” Cristiano Ronaldo
On a personal level, Ronaldo was indomitable. He scored 118 goals in 292 appearances, won the Ballon d’Or in 2008 and cemented his tag as the world’s best player. Nobody could stop him. He was the closest thing to a footballing god that Old Trafford had seen since the days of George Best.
He has been linked with a move back to Old Trafford this summer and now that Antonio Valencia has handed back his #7 shirt to United, Ronaldo could even have his old number back but given the finances involved, it is unlikely he’ll come home just yet.
But the memories of Ronaldo still resonate strongly in the hearts of United fans and always will. From his first free kick to the last, Ronaldo was and will remain one of our greatest ever players.
Viva Ronaldo, Viva Ronaldo, running down the wing, hear United sing, Viva Ronaldo…