Ryan Giggs admits he laughed the first time he saw Cristiano Ronaldo play

Published 7 Comments

Football News

Manchester United’s match against Sporting Lisbon in August 2003 was arguably the most important pre-season friendly in the club’s history.

The Red Devils probably wouldn’t have signed Cristiano Ronaldo - the inspiration behind the club’s Premier League title triumphs in 2007, 2008 and 2009, not to mention the 2008 Champions league - had they not travelled to Portugal for the friendly.

Sir Alex Ferguson admitted at the time that the United players, who had been left terrorised by the 18-year-old Ronaldo, pleaded with him to secure the starlet’s services on the plane back to Manchester.


Want to become a GMS writer? Sign up now and submit a 250-word test article:

Days later and the deal was done for £12.24 million.

"After we played Sporting last week the lads in the dressing room talked about him constantly, and on the plane back from the game they urged me to sign him - that's how highly they rated him,” Ferguson was quoted as saying by BBC Sport back in 2003. "He is one of the most exciting young players I've ever seen."

Giggs: Ronaldo destroying O'Shea made me laugh

Ryan Giggs has spoken about how Ronaldo “lit up the game” that night and left the entire squad wondering what Ferguson was waiting for.

The Welshman - speaking on ITV Sport, per Goal - also admitted that Ronaldo was so impressive in the match, particularly against poor old John O’Shea, that he ended up laughing.

“You see Ronaldo get the ball, and you see him turn John O'Shea inside out, and you're having a little giggle to yourself,” Giggs said.

“He just lit up the game, all the lads were talking to him after the game and I remember we were waiting on the coach and everybody was wondering what we were waiting for.

“And then we just got a little whisper that the deal was being done for £13 million.”

Video: Ronaldo v United (2003)

Ronaldo's rise to greatness

After a couple of frustrating seasons, Giggs revealed that Ronaldo reported back to pre-season training one summer as a “man”.

The Portuguese star, who lifted the Euro 2016 trophy after Sunday’s win over France, scored a magnificent 91 goals in his final three seasons at Old Trafford.

He then secured a dream £80 million transfer to Real Madrid in the summer of 2009, making him the most expensive player in football history until Gareth Bale’s move to the Bernabeu from Tottenham four years later.

Was Cristiano Ronaldo Sir Alex Ferguson’s best signing? Have your say by leaving a comment below.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE:

Real Madrid
Premier League
Cristiano Ronaldo
Alex Ferguson
Manchester United
UEFA Champions League
Ryan Giggs

Article Comments

Read more

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author


This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again