Cristiano Ronaldo's debuts: Best impressed, scoring a penalty & a blank for Juventus
Cristiano Ronaldo helped Juventus to a 3-2 win at Chievo on his Serie A debut but could not score his first competitive goal for the club.
Ronaldo inadvertently knocked Stefano Sorrentino out cold late in Saturday's clash after being denied on several occasions by the goalkeeper.
The Portugal captain's presence in the box assisted Juve in coming from behind to win, but how did his Bianconeri bow match up to his first appearances for Sporting CP, Manchester United and Real Madrid?
We take a look at Ronaldo's other debuts after the superstar's action-packed display against Chievo.
Sporting CP 0-0 Inter - August 14, 2002
After coming through the ranks at Sporting, Ronaldo's professional debut came as a second-half substitute in the Champions League third qualifying round first leg against Inter. The game finished goalless - Inter progressed in the return game in Milan - and a 17-year-old Ronaldo offered few signs in his cameo of developing into the player now regarded as one of the greatest of all time.
Manchester United 4-0 Bolton Wanderers - August 16, 2003
Ronaldo became the most expensive teenager in English football history when he joined United from Sporting for £12.24million and he immediately started to repay that fee. The Red Devils were already on track for a home win against Bolton when Ronaldo came on to a standing ovation just after the hour mark at Old Trafford, but they struck three times in the last 16 minutes to add gloss to the scoreline. Ronaldo's dazzling array of tricks thrilled manager Alex Ferguson and the fans and even drew comparisons to George Best, one of United's previous stars to wear the number seven. Best said Ronaldo's display was "undoubtedly the most exciting debut performance I've ever seen" and he went on to win three Premier League titles before joining Real Madrid in 2009.
Real Madrid 3-2 Deportivo La Coruna - August 29, 2009
Ronaldo cost Madrid a world-record £80m (€94m) and tens of thousands of people turned up at the Santiago Bernabeu for the Portugal superstar's presentation. His first appearance for Madrid came at home to Deportivo La Coruna and he got off the mark with a goal from the penalty spot – something he would establish a reputation for in the Spanish capital – after Raul was fouled. However, Madrid needed Lassana Diarra to come up with the winning goal. Ronaldo went on to score in each of his first four Madrid league appearances, setting a club record in the process.
@Cristiano has fond memories of facing @RCDeportivo , including making his #RealMadrid debut in 2009, bagging two hat-tricks and scoring THESE eleven goals in nine matches! #RMLiga | #HalaMadrid pic.twitter.com/6qjZtS8tzw— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) January 20, 2018
Chievo 2-3 Juventus – August, 18 2018
Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi hosted Ronaldo's Serie A debut and he drew a blank as Massimiliano Allegri's side had to scramble a victory from 2-1 down in the opening game of the season. After forcing several saves from Sorrentino, the goalkeeper was forced off after his head collided with Ronaldo's knee and a goal from Mario Mandzukic was disallowed as a result of the foul. The 33-year-old started in a central role but shifted out to the left wing after the introduction of Mandzukic. He was not directly involved in either of the goals that saw Juventus complete their comeback in the last 15 minutes, a Mattia Bani own goal followed by Federico Bernardeschi's stoppage-time strike.