The date was August 6, 2003, and Sir Alex Ferguson was preparing his Manchester United players to take on Sporting Lisbon in a routine friendly.
It turned out to be one of the biggest days in United’s history.
The story is well told. Ronaldo, 18 at the time, was instrumental in Sporting’s 3-1 win and Ferguson decided there and then to sign the Portuguese teenager.
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“The first game I played against Manchester United was an unbelievable game, the perfect night,” said Ronaldo, via the Daily Mail.
“When I listened after the game some of my team-mates said 'listen, you are going to go to Manchester, trust me. Sir Alex Ferguson is there and wants to speak with you'.
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“So I went to the dressing room and he introduced me to the players, which for me was a little bit fun because I was a little shy.
“Alex Ferguson said to me 'I want you now'. Everything came so fast and two days later I spoke to the coach and they took me to England. Then I was in Manchester and I signed.”
You know the rest.
CR7 Chapter 3: Discovery
Ronaldo was speaking at the launch of Nike’s CR7 Chapter 3: Discovery boots, which are inspired by that game 13 years ago.
“This game changed my career,” Ronaldo says in the promotional video. "Just ten days after the match, I was already playing in England with my new team, embracing new challenges.”
Check out the boots, which Ronaldo will wear when Portugal play Latvia next Sunday, below.
Ronaldo's new deal
The boots, which have the date of the game inscribed on the heel, will set you back £265.
That’s a lot of money. Unless you’re Ronaldo, of course.
The Real Madrid star signed a five-year contract extension on Monday worth a reported £365,000-per-week.
“This is a special day for me, extending my links with this club, the club of my heart,” he said during yesterday’s press conference at the Bernabeu. “Renewing for five years is very special and let it be clear that this is not the last contract.
“I want to keep making history and I'm sure that in the next five years I will keep scoring goals and winning trophies with the best club in the world. I want to finish my career at this club but I want this to be my penultimate contract.”
Where will Cristiano Ronaldo rank among football's greatest ever players? Let us know in the comments section below!
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