3 Manchester United records that Cristiano Ronaldo holds till date
- Even though a decade has passed since his departure, some of the records the Portuguese set with the Red Devils are still unbroken.
When Cristiano Ronaldo joined Manchester United as an unknown teenager before the start of the 2003/04 season, few people would have predicted his unbelievable rise in the world of football. Over the years, the Portuguese not only became a worthy successor to the No. 7 shirt at Old Trafford, he even managed to reach the pinnacle of success as a United player.
The Portuguese lit up Old Trafford for 6 seasons and etched his name into United folklore before joining Real Madrid. Such was his charm that Red Devils fans regularly chant his name at games, even though a decade has passed since his departure! It was at United that Ronaldo first showcased his goalscoring skills to the world and it was also here that the seeds of his legendary rivalry with Lionel Messi were first sown. The Portuguese went on to spice up the greatest footballer in the world' debate for more than a decade and was exceptional for Real Madrid during the length of his stay with Los Blancos.
Ronaldo moved to Juventus in the summer of 2018 and has been reaching new milestones in Italy too. However, some of the records he set with the Red Devils are still unbroken and today, we look at the 3 Manchester United records that the Portuguese holds till date.
#3 Most goals in a 38-game league season
The record for the most league goals in a season for Manchester United belongs to Dennis Viollet, who scored 32 goals from 36 games in Division I in the 1950/60 season. Back then, 22 teams competed in the league and each team played 42 games in a season. It was only in the second season of the Premier League in 1993 that the league was revamped to constitute 20 clubs who competed in a 38-game season. The record for the most goals in a 38-games season for Manchester United was set by Ronaldo when he scored 31 times in 34 games in the 2007/08 term.
At the start of the season, the United No. 7 had firmly established himself as one of the rising stars of the football world. However, Ronaldo’s start to the league was inauspicious as he failed to find the back of the net in the first 8 games. He finally scored the only goal of the game against Birmingham City on the 29th of September. The Portuguese went on to add 30 more league goals in a record-breaking season where he finished with 42 goals from 49 games in all competitions.
#2 Only United player to win the European Golden Shoe
By the start of the 2007/08 season, Ronaldo had come into his own and was fast becoming one of the deadliest players in Europe. He helped Manchester United win the league that season and also won the Premier League Golden Boot. However, that was not all. The Portuguese ended the season with 6 individual trophies and among them was his first European Golden Shoe.
The coveted award firmly established his status as one of the best goalscorers in the world. But it also marked the first time that a Manchester United player had won the European Golden Shoe since its inception in 1967/68 season. Ronaldo’s 31 league goals enabled him to pick up 62 points, 8 points clear of his nearest rival Daniel Guiza, who scored 27 goals in the Primera Division with RCD Mallorca. Ajax’s Klaas-Jan Huntelaar finished third with 49.5 points, while Emmanuel Adebayor of Arsenal and Fernando Torres of Liverpool finished joined 4th with 48 points.
The Portuguese went on to win the Ballon d’Or in 2008, becoming only the 4th Manchester United player to win the prestigious award.
#1 Costliest player sold by Manchester United
Cristiano Ronaldo joined Manchester United as an 18-year-old in the summer of 2003 for a transfer fee of £12.24m. That made him the most expensive teenager in the world at that moment and pretty soon, it was clear that the first Portuguese player to play for United would turn out to be their finest. Ronaldo sent records tumbling at Old Trafford and attracted the attention of the top clubs in Europe. With every passing season, the United No. 7 went from strength to strength and by the time that he had won the Ballon d’Or in 2008, the Red Devils were struggling to keep Real Madrid’s hands off him.
In the summer of 2009, the Portuguese ultimately left Old Trafford for the Santiago Bernabeu, having scored 118 goals from 292 appearances for the club. Manchester United received a then world record £80m fee from the Spanish giants for Ronaldo’s signature. Since then, United have overseen a few big-money departures from Old Trafford, but more than a decade later, that record set by Ronaldo still stands tall. The Portuguese is still the costliest player sold by Manchester United in their history.Published 04 Mar 2020, 21:30 IST