Cristiano Ronaldo was 'pocketed' by his toughest ever opponent during his Man Utd days

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Cristiano Ronaldo is near enough an unstoppable force in the world of football.

Park your thoughts about Lionel Messi for one second because, by way of being a similarly freakish figure of football talent, the Barcelona superstar isn't what we'd consider to be a normal footballer.

And when it comes to facing 'normal footballers', Ronaldo basically has everybody figured out, using his supreme skill to unravel some of the greatest defenders in history across his illustrious career.

Ronaldo's perpetual brilliance

You only have to look at the fact Ronaldo tied up Gerard Pique's legs twice a season for almost a decade to see that the Real Madrid legend could get the better of even the toughest enforcers.

After all, Ronaldo isn't just one of the most technically-gifted players on the planet, but he also happens to be one of its most physically disciplined with some remarkable athletic attributes.

Even at 35 years old, the Juventus superstar seems capable of outjumping near enough everybody - see the Sassuolo win for case in point - and remains amongst the fastest players in Europe.

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Ronaldo's toughest opponent

However, every Superman has their kryptonite and to Ronaldo's credit, he's been pretty open about the player who has given him the most difficulty throughout his professional career.

Those familiar with the five-time Ballon d'Or winner will know that said player is Ashley Cole, who gave Ronaldo a baptism of fire in the Premier League for both Arsenal and Chelsea.

But of all the times that Cole left Ronaldo frustrated, perhaps none of them were more brutal than when Manchester United drew 1-1 with Chelsea at Old Trafford during the 2006/07 campaign.

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When Cole pocketed Ronaldo

Video footage of the game shows that Cole had Ronaldo under his thumb, thwarting him with a number of challenges and blocks until the Portuguese magician asked to be substituted.

In fact, just to make things even more brutal, Cole could be seen making a gesture to the United fans implying that he had pocketed their star man on course for the PFA Player of the Year award.

It was a night for the history books, so be sure to check out the montage, courtesy of Twitter user @CFCAyo_, to see a rare occasion where Ronaldo was meant to look human:

'Does not give you a second to breathe'

Woof. It's no wonder Ronaldo considered Cole to be his toughest opponent.

According to Sky Sports, Ronaldo told Coach Mag in 2016: "Over the years I had some great battles with Ashley Cole, he does not give you a second to breathe.

"He was such a tenacious player when he was at his peak, quick, tough in the tackle. You knew it would never be an easy game."

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However, given Ronaldo's elite mentality, you wouldn't be surprised if he was extremely grateful for Cole's incredible performances because it's helped to make 'CR7' the all-conquering force he is today.

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