With speculation rife that Cristiano Ronaldo is to leave Real Madrid this summer there are two contrasting schools of thought: that he will move to Paris Saint-Germain, or he will return to Manchester United.
If it is the latter then there will be a lot of happy Red Devils fans around the world expecting to see more of the triple Balon d’Or winner gracing the Old Trafford turf.
The Portuguese was outstanding for Sir Alex Ferguson during his six-year stay in the North West of
England, but he has elevated into another stratosphere since his £80m move to the Spanish giants.
He has netted 69 times in 68 appearances for Real Madrid in the Champions League, but here is a
collection of his very best goals in Europe’s elite competition for Manchester United – the side he first lifted the trophy with back in 2008.
Vs Dynamo Kyiv, Group Stages – 2007/08
Ronaldo used his trickery to cut inside a defender before emphatically smashing the ball into the back of the net to send Manchester United through to the knockout stages – and set them on their way to a third European Cup – in the 2007/08 season.
The pacey winger is renowned for his skill on the ball and ability to beat defenders, and a cheeky chop inside gave him a clear route to goal to make it 4-0 at home to Dynamo Kyiv.
He has certainly faced fiercer defenders in his career, but few would have been able to stop him in the form he showed that evening at Old Trafford.
Vs Roma, Quarter-finals – 2007/08
Ronaldo’s sheer determination and desire to get to the ball first help this effort force its way into this countdown.
His sprint and leap helped him to outjump the Roma defenders and hand United a crucial early away goal in the first leg of their quarter-final against Roma.
If you watch the replay carefully, he isn’t even in the shot when Paul Scholes crosses the ball in, yet still manages to break into the box and fire his bullet header into the bottom corner.
Vs Chelsea, Final – 2007/08
CR7’s incredible leaping ability was once again showcased as he ended a fantastic season by scoring on the biggest stage in club football.
His 42nd goal of the season gave Sir Alex Ferguson’s side the lead in an all-English Champions League final in Moscow. Chelsea pegged their rivals back to force a penalty shootout, in which Ronaldo surprisingly missed, but Edwin Van der Sar’s goalkeeping heroics helped his team to lift the trophy.
A campaign peppered with personal accolades was accentuated by the Portuguese claiming his first European Cup winners’ medal – made all the sweeter by his power header.
Vs Arsenal, Semi-finals – 2008/09
One of Ronaldo’s trademark free-kicks virtually signified United’s progression through to the 2009 Champions League final when he made it 3-0 on aggregate in the 11th minute against Arsenal on a memorable night for Manchester United fans in North London.
Wide out on the right, the winger didn’t have the greatest of angles to work with, but that didn’t prevent him from dipping the ball in at the near post.
Manuel Almunia sprawled across his line but couldn’t contend with the pace of the shot or manage to get anything on the ball to keep it out.
Vs Porto, Quarter-finals – 2008/09
CR7 found the perfect way to silence the Porto fans on his return to the Estadio do Dragao with quite possibly the greatest goal in Champions League history.
The former Sporting Lisbon star received the ball a good 40 yards away from goal, but had just one thing in his mind. A quick turn and a couple of touches to get the ball out of his feet preceded such a sweetly struck shot that Helton had no hope between the sticks.
With the ball continuing to rise until it rustled the top left corner of the net, United then had the away goal they required after only five minutes of the second leg to put them 3-2 ahead on aggregate early on.
What's your favourite Cristiano Ronaldo goal? Have your say in the comments section below!
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