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Today marks the ten year anniversary of Cristiano Ronaldo joining Manchester United from Sporting Lisbon.
At the end of part one of my look back at Ronaldo’s career so far, he had just become a Champions League winner with United.
In the summer that followed, (the summer of 2008) it was revealed that Real Madrid were interested in signing Ronaldo. United held their ground however and even reported Madrid to FIFA about the way in which they approached Ronaldo.
United simply refused to sell Ronaldo, with the player himself confirming that he would stay at United for at least another season.
The 2008/2009 season saw Ronaldo score his 100th goal for United, which of course was a free-kick, against Stoke City. Ronaldo also became the first United player to win the Ballon d’OR award since George Best in 1967. The awards kept on coming, with Ronaldo becoming the first Premier League player to be named: FIFA World Player Of The Year for the year 2008.
In a season that was plagued with rumours about Ronaldo being unhappy at United, – 2008/2009 – the Portugal international still helped lead United to a third straight Premier League title and to second consecutive Champions League Final.
Ronaldo was less than impressive in that final however as United were out-classed by Barcelona and a certain Lionel Messi, somebody Ronaldo would have to learn to put up with in the years to come.
In the summer of 2009, the moment came which all United fans, including myself feared the most. Cristiano Ronaldo was to be sold to Real Madrid for a world record transfer fee of £80million. Ronaldo signed a six-year deal at the Bernabéu stadium and I was left to worry about what was to become of my United team without our star player.
Ronaldo scored on his La Liga debut for Real Madrid, in a 3-2 win against Deportivo La Coruna. He went on to score in the next three league games, making him the first player ever to score in each of their first four La Liga games.
Despite scoring on a regular basis, Ronaldo had to do with second place in La Liga at the first attempt, finishing behind Barcelona. Ronaldo also had to put up with being the runner up in the two awards he had won the previous year, the Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player Of The Year……. loosing to, you guessed it : Lionel Messi
During the 2010/2011 season (Ronaldo’s second season in Spain) Ronaldo regained his number seven shirt after Raul left Madrid and also was able pick up his first bit of silverware with the Copa Del Rey. Ronaldo was in great goal-scoring form throughout the season, with six hat-tricks and a total of 53 goals in all competitions.
Ronaldo and Madrid again failed to beat Barcelona and their star player, Lionel Messi.
In Ronaldo’s third season (2011/2012) at Madrid, they finally managed to take the league title away from Barcelona. Ronaldo produced some amazing performances throughout the year, scoring 46 league goals, which is a La Liga Record.
Last season, (2012/2013) in the Champions League, Real Madrid were drawn against Manchester United …. meaning that Ronaldo would be playing AGAINST United for the first time since leaving. It was surreal to see Ronaldo playing at Old Trafford against United, and it was terrible knowing just what he could do to our defence.
Of course my fears came true as Ronaldo scored in both games and Madrid knocked my team out, albeit in controversial circumstances. I will NEVER change my opinion on that game: Nani should not have been sent off! On a lighter note, I was very happy with Ronaldo’s attitude towards the games as he did not celebrate either of his two goals.
Madrid ultimately ended the season without a trophy, Jose Mourinho was sacked and now there are all kinds of rumours surrounding Ronaldo’s future. Many say the he is now unhappy at Madrid and feels that he deserves a big new contract, others say he is concerned about the possible arrival of Gareth Bale, a player very similar to himself.
My favourite rumour, and the one that I hope to one day become reality is that Ronaldo could be on his way back to Old Trafford. Ronaldo has always outlined his love for the club and could be used to fund Madrid’s bid for Bale.
Who knows what the future holds for Cristiano Ronaldo, but obviously as a Manchester United fan, I hope he does the right thing and returns to the Premier League Champions!
The number Seven shirt is now available by the way Cristiano!!!!!