Cristiano Ronaldo’s enjoyed a decent career, hasn’t he?
The Portugal international has managed to win five Ballons d’Or, five Champions League trophies and league titles in England, Spain and Italy.
From a skinny, awkward teenager teenager at Sporting Lisbon to the Adonis that we witness today, it’s been some journey for the forward.
He left Sporting in 2003 after impressing against Manchester United in a friendly. Immediately after the match, United’s players were calling for Sir Alex Ferguson to sign the winger who had just torn John O’Shea to shreds.
Ronaldo flourished in the Premier League, with his trickery and speed making him a nightmare for opposing full-backs.
He won his first Ballon d’Or in 2008 before leaving for Real Madrid a year later.
It was in Spain where Ronaldo developed from a world-class player into one of history’s true greats.
He moved from a wide position to a central role and became Real’s all-time leading goalscorer, netting 450 goals in 438 appearances.
His rivalry with Lionel Messi was one of football’s greatest storylines.
But that all came to an end in 2018 when Ronaldo left Real for Juventus after beginning to feel unloved at the Bernabeu.
Real’s loss has proven to be Juventus’ gain. Ronaldo has won two Serie A titles and was named Most Valuable Player in Italy’s top flight in 2018/19.
The 35-year-old has scored 742 goals for club and country in his career and today (October 7, 2020) marks the 18th anniversary of his first ever one.
On this day in 2002, Ronaldo announced himself to the world with a brace in a 3-0 win for Sporting over Moreirense.
Ronaldo ripped off his shirt and lapped up the adulation from the home crowd after scoring his first ever professional goal.
Ronaldo's club debuts
It’s got us thinking about Ronaldo’s career and everything that’s happened in it.
And we’ve stumbled across a video of Ronaldo’s highlights on his debuts for Sporting, Man United, Real Madrid, Juventus and the Portugal national team.
Keep an eye out for his dazzling display in his first United game against Bolton in 2003.
"It was undoubtedly the most exciting debut performance I've ever seen.”
That was George Best’s reaction to Ronaldo’s stunning performance against Bolton.
"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,” Best added, per ESPN.
Ferguson also knew that he had something special after watching Ronaldo torment Bolton after coming on as a second-half substitute.
"It was a marvellous debut, almost unbelievable," said the then-United boss.
“I thought the pace was too slow in the first half and I knew Cristiano would add penetration.”