Cristiano Ronaldo vs Ronaldo: When the two icons played vs one another in 2004

  • Kat Lucas

Who's the 'real' Ronaldo? 

Depending on your age and allegiances, football fans are likely to be divided on that question. 

Ronaldo Nazario can't have taken kindly to being described as 'the Brazilian Ronaldo', or worse, once his namesake Cristiano had shot to fame. 

In the last 15 years, the Portuguese has done more than enough to prove himself worthy of those two syllables, scoring over 700 goals and cementing his status as one of the greatest of all time. 

It's just a pity we never got to see them side-by-side in competitive action. 

What would have happened, though, had the two Ronaldo's ever graced the pitch at the same time? 

No doubt it's a question many have asked, but it only happened on one occasion that's largely been forgotten. 

All the way back in July 2004, the two icons met for the one and only time during a charity match between Luis Figo's Foundation and the Ronald McDonald House Charity. 

It ended with a 2-1 victory to Figo's side - courtesy of two strikes from Ronaldo Nazario. 

The South American opened the scoring and then headed in a second for Sir Bobby Robson's side, which also featured the likes of Alan Smith (then of Manchester United) and Lucas Radebe (during his time at Leeds United). 

Footage of the game is unfortunately limited but you can see Cristiano Ronaldo's highlights, courtesy of YouTube's Hris7owComps, below:

The young man who would go on to win five Ballon d'Or titles had just enjoyed his first season at Old Trafford after signing from Sporting Lisbon the previous summer in a £12.24 million - a deal that had then made him the most expensive teenager in history. 

While he scored only six times in that first campaign, he had already done enough to generate plenty of attention, George Best describing his first game for the Red Devils as one of the "most exciting debuts" he had seen. 

Even so, the Brazilian Ronaldo can have had little idea who the player he was coming up against, and with whom his name was already drawing comparisons, was to become. 

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