When Real Madrid came out of the hat as Manchester United’s opponents for the last 16 of the Champions League, the minds of United fans everywhere switched to one man, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo will return to Old Trafford for the first time since leaving the club for the second leg of this tie. Providing he doesn’t do anything stupid or ridiculous in the first tie, he will return and will be greeted with warm applause and the customary ‘Viva Ronaldo’ United chant.
Champions League win against Chelsea
This has to be rated as Ronaldo’s best moment in a United shirt. He scored the opening goal in the 2008 final in Moscow, ghosting into the penalty box and heading the ball past Petr Cech. His emotions exploded after Edwin van der Sar made the winning save in the penalty shoot out that followed.
Free Kick against Portsmouth
Ronaldo scored possibly the best goal of his United career in 2008 against Portsmouth. He stood over a free kick around 30 yards out and thumped the ball with a technique that still seems to defy physics. The ball flew over the top of the wall and dipped rapidly leaving David James with no chance of pulling off a save.
Champions League goal against Porto
Ronaldo produced another of his best goals in the 2009 Champions League match against FC Porto. United were heavily criticised after a poor performance in the first leg and United started the match well. Ronaldo picked the ball up just inside the Porto half and had a shot from out of nowhere which travelled a good 50 yards and flew into the net.
Against Arsenal in the Premier League in 2005
United were chasing down Chelsea for much of the 2004/2005 Premier League campaign and Ronaldo produced arguably his most effective spell of football during this match ever for United. United managed to take a 2-1 lead into half-time but they were taking heavy pressure from a very talented Arsenal team. Ronaldo produced two superb finishes within five minutes after the break to secure his side a crucial win.
Against Arsenal in the Champions League in 2009
Arsenal are the victims once again with Ronaldo setting up one goal and scoring one goal in perfect counter attacking football. The reason this match makes his top five moments for the club is because of the brilliant pace and execution of both of the goals he was involved in.
What are your best memories of Ronaldo playing for United?
image: © Paolo Camera