On this day back in 2003, Manchester United announce the double signing of Kleberson and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Kleberson arrived with a World Cup winners medal dangling around his neck whereas Ronaldo arrived as an 18-year-old with bags of potential who earned the transfer after an impressive performance against United in a friendly.
While one transfer never quite worked out, the other ended up becoming one of the best players United have ever had.
When Ronaldo joined in 2003, he was immediately given the No.7 shirt left vacant by David Beckham and Sir Alex Ferguson‘s decision to hand him the famous shirt was more than vindicated in Ronaldo’s six year stay at United.
“After I joined, the manager asked me what number I’d like,” Ronaldo explained.
“I said 28. But Ferguson said ‘No, you’re going to have No. 7,’ and the famous shirt was an extra source of motivation. I was forced to live up to such an honour.”
Ronaldo grew into his own at United after a couple of years at the club and his defining season came in 2007/8 when he scored 42 goals in 49 appearances, helped United win the Premier League and Champions League double and won the Ballon d’Or.
In his six years at the club, Ronaldo won everything he possibly could have and did it in style.
292 appearances. 118 goals. 3 Premier League titles. 1 Champions League medal. 1 FIFA World Cup medal. 1 FA Cup medal. 2 Football League Cup medals. 2008 Ballon d’Or winner.
Ronaldo became a superstar at United and his name is still sung home and away by United fans because of the legacy he left behind.