From Portsmouth knuckleball to Porto thunderbolt - Ronaldo’s Top 10 Man Utd moments

Last updated
Comments()
As Cristiano Ronaldo prepares to return to Old Trafford in Juventus colours, United fans are bound to have fond memories of the forward...

  1. Manchester United 3-0 Portsmouth - November 2003.

    It took him 10 games but Cristiano Ronaldo finally opened his Manchester United account against Portsmouth at Old Trafford in the Premier League.

    Perhaps unsurprisingly it was one of his trademark free-kicks that saw him get off the mark, in a game he had begun on the bench. 

    With 15 minutes to go and United only 1-0 to the good, the Portuguese international replaced Diego Forlan, and five minutes later he had helped make the game safe by bagging his first in a red shirt.
  2. Manchester United 3-0 Millwall FA Cup Final – May 2004

    Still only a teenager, Ronaldo took to the field for the FA Cup final wearing a pair of gold boots and quickly set about dazzling the opposition.

    Whilst United were always hot favourites to win the trophy against Championship opposition, their No. 7 ensured there were to be no upsets at the Millennium Stadium.

    A thoroughly outstanding individual display saw Ronaldo head home the opening goal, just before half-time, as he went on to pick up his first major trophy as a Red Devil.
  3. Arsenal 2-4 Manchester United - February 2005

    A thrilling game at Highbury saw Portugal's finest inspire his side to victory in a game they twice had to come from behind to win.

    With the Gunners leading 2-1 at half-time, Ronaldo hit two goals in five minutes after the break to send Sir Alex Ferguson’s men on their way to victory, and all but end the Arsenal’s title ambitions. 

    A late goal by John O’Shea gave the scoreline a more convincing hue in an ill-tempered game in north London, but it was Ronaldo’s goals that inspired the win. 
  4. Fulham 1-2 Manchester United - February 2007

    Despite leading the league table for much of the season United travelled to Craven Cottage on the back of a disappointing draw to Reading in the FA Cup.

    Hoping to get back on track, Fergie’s men were struggling against the Whites, who took an early lead in the game before Ryan Giggs grabbed an equaliser.

    However, with time running out it looked as though the Old Trafford outfit were about to drop two valuable points.

    Cue Ronaldo, who picked up the ball in his own half and sprinted down the left flank leaving defenders trailing in his wake.

    Still not content, he then cut inside and drilling a deflected shot home to send the Red Devils nine points clear at the top and on their way to yet another title.
  5. Manchester United 6-0 Newcastle United - January 2008

    Ronaldo claimed his first hat-trick for the club in a 6-0 demolition of Newcastle, in a game that incredibly was goalless at half-time.

    However, within three minutes of the restart the Portugal international had opened the scoring with a hammer of a free-kick as the floodgates well and truly opened.

    He grabbed a second after a super flowing move proved too hot for the Magpies to handle before sealing his treble with a deflected shot as United ran riot.
  6. Manchester United 2-0 Portsmouth - January 2008

    Weeks after the Newcastle mauling, Ronaldo was at it again as he scored both goals in a comfortable victory over Portsmouth.

    But it was his second from a free-kick that made the football world sit up and start talking. 

    The United man hit a dazzling strike which dipped and bent and flew into the top corner, leaving David James shaking his head in bafflement and Ronaldo in dreamland.

    Manager Sir Alex Ferguson later described the free-kick as the finest he had ever seen in the Premier League, and let’s face it, he’s seen a few.
  7. Roma 0-2 Manchester United – April 2008

    Ronaldo headed to the Stadio Olimpico for a Champions League quarter-final first leg against Roma with accusations that he was a ‘big game bottler’ ringing in his ears.

    But five minutes before half-time the forward answered his critics in resounding style with a towering header to grab a vital away goal and hand the Premier League side the lead.

    Wayne Rooney added a second after the break and Ronaldo could have scored two more, hitting the post and sending a low shot over in an impressive display.
  8. Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea – Champions League Final - May 2008

    Manchester United’s Champions League triumph over Chelsea on penalties in 2008 actually saw Ronaldo miss from the spot.

    However, the No. 7 was easily forgiven, not least because he had earlier given United the lead in the match after heading a Wes Brown cross past Petr Cech.  

    Although Frank Lampard later equalised, Sir Alex’s men went on to seal victory from the spot and hand the Red Devils their third European crown, and Ronaldo his first Champions League win.
  9. Manchester United 3-2 Aston Villa - April 2009

    Although this game will be remembered as the day that a certain Federico Macheda made his name, there is no denying that Ronaldo played a vital part in victory.

    After losing two games on the trot, United’s title campaign was starting to wobble and with Nemanja Vidic, Wayne Rooney, Paul Scholes, Rio Fedinand and Dimitar Berbatov all missing, they had it all to do against Villa.

    Although Ronaldo put the Reds ahead in the game, Villa took a 2-1 lead and with 10 minutes to go United were still behind.

    However, the Portuguese kept on going, scoring a vital equaliser for his second of the match before youngster Macheda struck his famous last-gasp winner.  
  10. Manchester United 1-0 Porto – April 2009

    Attempting to become the first side to retain the Champions League, United looked in deep trouble against Porto after a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford in the first leg of the quarter-finals.

    Despite travelling to Portugal knowing that no English club had ever won in Oporto, Ronaldo proceeded to make history by sending United to victory and a place in the semi-final.

    It was a fitting goal too, as the forward picked up the ball 40 yards from goal before hitting a ferocious strike that rocketed into the top corner and past helpless goalkeeper Helton.