Cristiano Ronaldo's highlights from his Manchester United debut in 2003 are rather special

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Cristiano Ronaldo is still much loved at Manchester United.

The Portuguese forward was signed in the summer of 2003 from Sporting Lisbon in a £12.24 million deal.

He would go on to be one of the, if not the best signing in Man United's history.

Ronaldo spent six successful years at the club, where he scored 118 times in 292 appearances.

He helped his side to nine major trophies, including three Premier League triumphs and one Champions League title.

He would eventually leave in 2009 to Real Madrid for £80 million, in what was then a world record transfer fee, but Man United fans still reflect on his time at the club with fondness.

Ronaldo actually made his debut 15 years ago today, coming off the bench in the 61st minute against Bolton Wanderers.

But how did he fare in that game? Rather well, in fact.

Ronaldo, 18 years old at the time, was introduced with just under half-an-hour remaining with Man United enjoying a one goal lead.

By the end of the game, the Sir Alex Ferguson's side had scored three more - eventually completing a 4-0 triumph.

His silky skills were apparent from the outset, and his trickery would give his side a penalty.

It really was an impressive debut. Watch his individual highlights on his debut below:

Bolton's defence that day probably still have nightmares having had to come up against Ronaldo.

It turns out the whole world could see his talent from his 30 minute cameo against Bolton alone.

BBC's official match report of the game was very complimentary.

"Debutant Cristiano Ronaldo announced his arrival in the Premiership with a scintillating performance in the second half, acting as the catalyst for United's three-goal haul after the break," they wrote.

"United moved up a gear following Ronaldo's arrival on the hour."

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo (

Ferguson also joined in with the plaudits. "It was a marvellous debut, almost unbelievable," he said, per ESPN. "I thought the pace was too slow in the first half and I knew Cristiano would add penetration.

And a certain George Best, one of the greatest players in United history, was also impressed.

"It was undoubtedly the most exciting debut performance I've ever seen," Best said. "There have been players who have some similarities [to me], but this lad's got more than anyone else, especially as he is genuinely two-footed.

"He can play on either wing, beat players with ease and put in dangerous crosses with his left or right peg. When was the last time you saw that?"

It's clear that Ronaldo had the potential to be one of the best players of all time right from his debut for United.

Alex Ferguson
George Best
Cristiano Ronaldo
Bolton Wanderers
Manchester United

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