A day after his debut as a new player for Saudi Arabia’s Al Nasr, here’s a look back at Cristiano Ronaldo’s career at each of his clubs.
At the age of 12, Cristiano left the island of Madeira for Lisbon to try out for Sporting. He joined the club’s academy and when he turned 16 he was already training with the first team.
The winger, then lanky but already talented, made his top-flight debut at the age of 17 and earned the praise of European clubs during his only full campaign at Sporting (2002–2003), in which he scored five goals and assisted Did it for another five. The following season, Manchester United visited Sporting in a match to inaugurate the Portuguese club’s stadium.
Cristiano’s performance was outstanding – troubling winger John O’Shea – to the extent that United players urged their manager Alex Ferguson to hire him. Cristiano was also introduced into the United dressing room after the game.
A week later, he signed with the Red Devils for $12.25 million ($14.75 million at current exchange rates).
Manchester United (2003–09)
Cristiano became a superstar during his first spell at United. He went from a talented but erratic winger to establish himself as a fearsome and productive striker, scoring 118 goals in 292 appearances in all competitions. In doing so, he helped United to the Premier League crown for three consecutive seasons, from 2007 to 2009, equaling the 1999–2001 feat.
He also won the Champions League in 2008, scoring the only goal of his team’s 1–1 draw in the final after Man U won on penalties. Cristiano received his first trophies for the world’s best player in 2008, following a 2007–2008 campaign in which he scored 42 goals in various competitions.
By then, he was linked with Real Madrid. He remained at United for one more season, during which he helped them to a Premier League–League Cup double.
Real Madrid (2009–18)
Signed for a record £80 million ($131 million at the time), Cristiano won more trophies and fame in these nine years, defining a rivalry with Argentina’s Lionel Messi, then a Barcelona star. The Portuguese was so productive, playing primarily as a center forward, that he averaged 450 goals—438 in more than one game per game—to become the top scorer in Real Madrid’s history.
He passed the 40-goal mark in eight of his nine seasons, reaching 60 in two. He won two La Liga titles in 2014, 16, 17 and 18 and the Champions League along with Ballon d’Or in 2013, 14, 16 and 17, in the midst of a period of excellence that placed him among the best football players of all time. History.
In an attempt to start a “new phase” in his career, a period in which he and other leading players in Spain were accused of tax fraud, Cristiano made another move to Juventus, this time for 112 million euros (131). demanded multimillion-dollar transfers. .5 million dollars on those dates). It was a record amount for the Italian league, where the Portuguese continued to score, with 101 in 134 matches, becoming the leading scorer in two of his three campaigns.
But he never won the Champions League with Juve, although while there he overtook Messi in the scoring table of the top European tournament. It was also crowned twice in the Italian league in 2019 and 20.
Manchester United (2021–22)
Cristiano agreed to his sudden and unexpected return to United amid reported interest from arch-rivals Manchester City, writing: “I’m back where I come from.” Paying Juve 15 million euros ($17.75 million at the time) looked like a bargain for United, who saw Cristiano as the player who would lead them to their first premiership title since 2013 and become one of Europe’s greats. Will regain his place among the players.
Nothing like this came out. Cristiano continued to score goals – two in his first game and 24 in various competitions, including a hat-trick in back-to-back league games at home – but his lack of dynamism and ability to work affected United, who finished in sixth place. But stay 2021 campaign. 22, extending his trophy drought to five years.
Starr missed the start of this campaign after returning to practice late due to what were described as “personal reasons”. In short, he wanted to leave because United had not qualified for the Champions League.
This was followed by a bitter dispute with new coach Erik ten Haag, who replaced him as a substitute. An explosive interview with journalist Piers Morgan before the World Cup was the beginning of the end. A week later, the contract was terminated.
Steve Douglas is on Twitter as https://twitter.com/sdouglas80