Man Utd's John O'Shea 'needed oxygen' after facing Cristiano Ronaldo in 2003

The tale of Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Manchester United from Sporting Lisbon is well-known throughout the footballing sphere.

The two sides met in a friendly back in 2003 and an 18-year-old Ronaldo impressed so much during a 3-1 win for Sporting that United players were begging Sir Alex Ferguson to sign him.

United eventually got their man that summer, agreeing a £12.25m deal for the Portuguese – and the rest is history.

But just how good was Ronaldo in that game against United in 2003? Well, the highlights will tell you he was magnificent and Rio Ferdinand has added a fresh perspective on his performance that day.

Ferdinand has declared that Ronaldo was so good out on the left-wing that he left John O’Shea ‘needing oxygen’ at half-time.

“We played against Sporting in 2003, we get in at half-time and John O’Shea must’ve needed an oxygen tank next to him,” said Ferdinand during a live FIFA 20 match as part of the ‘Stay Home. Play Together’ campaign by EA SPORTS and COPA90, per Mirror.

“He was in bits and he was sitting there panting. We were telling him to get closer to Ronaldo and he couldn’t even answer us.

“To be fair, me, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt were standing there going ‘this kid’s unbelievable, we’ve got to sign him’.

“We got on the coach and we were delayed for about an hour and a half, and then they said they were doing a deal to sign Ronaldo now.”

Poor ol’ John.

Roy Keane has previously added his two cents to O’Shea’s misery, claiming that his countryman was having dizzy spells at half-time due to jet lag.

“Sheasy ended up seeing the doctor at half time because he was actually having dizzy spells,” Keane told the Telegraph.

United had flown to Lisbon from New York the night before and that transatlantic journey may have been the catalyst for producing one of the greatest footballers of all-time.

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