Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo are one of the deadliest duos to have played for Manchester United.
The pair were instrumental in the Red Devils winning three consecutive Premier League titles between 2006 and 2009, along with the 2008 Champions League in Moscow.
Overseen by the ingenious management of Sir Alex Ferguson, Rooney and Ronaldo battled to outdo each other in each of their five seasons together at Old Trafford.
The former England striker - who joined United 12 months after his Portuguese teammate - finished as top scorer in his debut 2004/05 campaign. Bested by Ruud van Nistelrooy the following year, Rooney and Ronaldo shared the honour with 23 goals apiece as they claimed their first league crown in 2007.
However, the Portugal international dominated from 2008. He netted 42 goals in all competitions during the 2007/08 season - including 31 in the Premier League - and contributed a further 26 before his then record move to Real Madrid in the summer of 2009.
Ronaldo ended up scoring 21 more than Rooney during their time as colleagues, but underneath their friendly rivalry was a close bond formed in the early stages of their United careers.
In an interview with The Times, Rooney reminisced about driving them both around as teenagers, with one of their trips including McDonald’s in an effort to help Ronaldo put on weight.
“With Cristiano, when I first got to United we used to go to games and training together,” Rooney said.
“I remember the night before a game stopping off at McDonald’s because he wanted a Big Mac.
“He was trying to put weight on because he was so thin. I was driving the car, having to go through the drive-through to get him a Big Mac!”
These days, it’s impossible to imagine Ronaldo being within ten feet of any takeaway, what with his unwavering commitment to a daily regime of six micro-meals and five naps.
Reflecting on the 35-year-old’s commitment to prolonging his career, Rooney commented: “With four kids I don’t know how he fits that in!
“You’ve got Ronaldo, who looks a million dollars, whereas I’ve never had the best body, but I can play 90 minutes, I can train every day. I have no worries physically. When I do, I’ll stop.”
Rooney’s playing contract with Derby County ends next year, when he plans to take his first step into coaching by beginning his UEFA Pro Licence.
But for now, the captain-coach of Phillip Cocu’s Rams is still putting in a shift on the pitch, with three goals and two assists in 11 appearances this term.
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