To a lot of fans around the world, Ronaldo – no not the fat one – is arguably the best footballer of all time. Yes, we’re talking about the legend, the phenomenon, that is Cristiano/CR7/TAFKA Winky. His career has spanned three clubs and produced hundreds of goal in a unprecedented, but meteoric, rise to the top. If he was playing at any other time then he would be universally classed as the best player around. There wouldn’t be any pained comparisons behind him and Argentinian goal-hobbit Lionel Messi. Alas, the comparisons exist, but there’s one area where Ronaldo is a clear winner. And it’s not penalties. In fact, it’s on the big screen. The documentary covering a year in his life is about to hit cinemas. In celebration we’re recounting five moments that shaped the man we know today.
1. Friendly against United
During a pre-season friendly against Manchester United in 2003, Ronaldo stole the show with his tricks, manoeuvering and direct attacking approach. It was clear to anyone watching the game that there was some really raw potential to Ronaldo’s play, and he, like so many others, would make the transition from the Portuguese league to one of Europe’s big three. However, the move to sign him didn’t come directly from Alex Ferguson, but a few of the more senior United players. The movement was spearheaded by Gary Neville, who’d watch the game from his sofa at home, after being left out of the squad due to injury. He was so impressed by the young Ronaldo that he made sure to highly recommend that Sir Alex signed the burgeoning talent. That’s a decision that neither party regretted.