Cristiano Ronaldo silenced commentator during Arsenal vs Man United in 2009

  • Rob Swan

Cristiano Ronaldo produced a host of magnificent individual performances during his six-year spell with Manchester United.

But one of the Portuguese forward’s best displays came away at Arsenal in the Champions League in May 2009 - months before his eventual departure to Real Madrid.

United were 1-0 up from the semi-final first leg thanks to a John O’Shea goal at Old Trafford. The tie was delicately poised when they met again the following week for the second leg at the Emirates Stadium.

However, an eighth-minute away goal from Park Ji-sung immediately settled any nerves Sir Alex Ferguson’s side may have had at kick-off.

Ronaldo then made it 2-0 minutes later with one of the most remarkable free-kicks of his illustrious career.


Forty yards from goal on the right-hand side of the pitch, it looked an impossible angle for Ronaldo to score from.

But there was never any doubt that the supremely-confident Portugal international, who was the Ballon d’Or holder at the time, was going to shoot.

Ronaldo silenced Clive Tyldesley

Now, we all love Clive Tyldesley, *the* voice of some of the greatest Champions League matches of the 1990s and 2000s, but the commentator showed during this particular moment why doubting Ronaldo in any scenario is always likely to backfire.

As Cristiano began his run-up, Tyldesley said the words: “Too far for Ronaldo to think about it…”

A split second later, he gasped: “Woah!” as the ball flew past Manuel Almunia and into the back of the net.


“Absolutely sensational” Tyldesley added. “It went through Almunia, beaten for pace, and Manchester United have scored twice in little more than 10 minutes here!”

Video: Ronaldo's free-kick vs Arsenal

Watch Ronaldo’s spectacular free-kick here…

Should Almunia have been beaten from that distance? Probably not. But how many players would even dream of scoring a free-kick from that far out?

Moreover, how many players in world football would even be capable of then executing the shot to perfection?


Poor old Clive can be forgiven for thinking even the red-hot Ronaldo didn’t have it in him.

As well as scoring that goal and assisting Park’s opener, Ronaldo then completed a Man of the Match performance by finishing off one of United’s best ever counter-attacking goals with 30 minutes left on the clock.

Watch: Ronaldo's superb highlights for Man Utd vs Arsenal

You can watch his superb highlights from that game here…

Ronaldo would play his final game for the Red Devils against Barcelona in the 2009 Champions League final.

However, goals from Samuel Eto’o and Lionel Messi meant Pep Guardiola’s legendary team lifted the European Cup in Rome.

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