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Cristiano Ronaldo News: Juventus star talks about his famous pre-season game against Manchester United in 2003

09 Aug 2019, 18:10 IST

Cristiano Ronaldo and Sir Alex Ferguson
Cristiano Ronaldo and Sir Alex Ferguson

What’s the story?

Portuguese ace Cristiano Ronaldo has suggested that 100 teams would have wanted him had he scored for Sporting Lisbon in that famous pre-season friendly against Manchester United in 2003.

In case you didn’t know...

A young Ronaldo starred for Sporting Lisbon against Manchester United in a pre-season friendly in the summer of 2003. Ronaldo showcased his potential to the whole world after performing magnificently in the Protuguese outfit's 3-1 victory over the Red Devils.

Despite failing to score, Ronaldo’s superb display caught the eye of then-Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, who wasted no time in brining the Portuguese to Old Trafford.

The heart of the matter

In a recent interview with DAZN, Ronaldo joked about what could have happened if he had scored against Manchester United in that pre-season friendly. He said,

"To score wasn’t important, honestly. If I had scored, maybe there would have been 100 teams after me. Since I didn’t score, there were only 50 teams! I think the most important thing was to play well and help my team win. Even without a goal the interest was very high.
"I have to say, and it’s true, Manchester [United] were already interested in me before the game. The game was like the icing on the cake. I played well, I shone in the game and this aroused even more interest.
"After the game I felt I had nothing left to prove to anyone. Every club knew after that game that if they bet on me, they would win."

The current Juventus star also revealed how he has evolved as a player over the years.

"Obviously, I think you always change, I was more of a dribbler back then, I wasn’t as direct as I am now and in recent years. I was a talented dribbler and I used to like assisting. Obviously with time and experience I’ve changed and, I believe, for the better.”

What’s next?

Ronaldo’s current employers Juventus will take on Atlético Madrid in their last pre-season friendly on Saturday.

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