When did ronaldo join manchester united ? Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United on Tuesday decided to end their bitter relationship after the Portuguese star made damaging remarks against the club in an explosive TV interview with Piers Morgan.
The 4 players Man Utd signed along with Cristiano Ronaldo in 2003
After watching Cristiano Ronaldo humiliate John O’Shea during a pre-season friendly, Manchester United moved to sign the winger in the summer of 2003.
Ronaldo then developed into one of the best players in the world, winning three consecutive Premier League titles before joining Real Madrid in an £80million deal in 2009 – and making a grand return to Old Trafford 12 years later.
We’ve taken a closer look at the other four players the Red Devils signed alongside the Portuguese icon ahead of the 2003-04 season.
Once dubbed the ‘next Thierry Henry‘, Bellion joined United in controversial circumstances following accusations of tapping up from Sunderland.
“United’s treatment of this club is shabby, despicable, disrespectful, arrogant and unprofessional,” former Sunderland chairman Bob Murray said in January 2003. “They have broken every rule in the book.
“He wants to go to Manchester United and I understand that. But they refuse to meet our asking price and have totally unsettled our player both mentally and physically – David has told me he doesn’t feel mentally right to play for Sunderland.
“The relationship between our two clubs is at an all-time low. Why don’t they just close their academy and do this to every decent young player in the country.”
The Black Cats asked a Football League tribunal to settle the matter and United eventually forked out a £2million compensation payment.
It was an awful lot of trouble for a player who failed to live up to the hype and was sold to Nice after scoring four goals in 24 Premier League appearances.
So good bad they named him twice.
Identified as a potential long-term successor to Roy Keane, Djemba-Djemba joined United from Ligue 1 side Nantes in a £3.5million deal.
While the midfielder did score a beauty against Leeds, he never justified those Keane comparisons and was promptly shown the door in January 2005.
“It was a lot of pressure – we’re talking about Roy Keane – the man, the captain, he was hard,” Djemba Djemba said in 2019. “It was difficult for me. I did my best and I played some good games, but it was hard for me.
“My team-mates helped me and Sir Alex Ferguson helped me. To be there was everything, and I have no regrets. Today I’m happy as I can look back as I won the FA Cup and the Charity Shield and it is the trophies that people remember.
“If people recognise me around the world, it’s because I was part of that team. I have no regrets and I will never ever forget Sir Alex Ferguson because he changed my life. He took me from Nantes and brought me to England and everyone knows Djemba-Djemba because of him.”
Having failed to sign Oliver Kahn, United turned to Howard and hoped that he would solve their goalkeeping woes in the post-Peter Schmeichel era.
The former USA international was by no means a disaster, winning the FA Cup and the League Cup, but his time at the club is probably remembered best for his gaffe against Jose Mourinho’s Porto.
He was eventually replaced by Edwin van der Sar and moved to Everton on loan in 2006 before making the move permanent a year later.
“There was certainly nothing negative from my perspective and my experience at Manchester United was priceless,” Howard told Goal in 2013. “It was incredible in every way.
“I am a better person and a better goalkeeper because I spent three years there under some amazing tutelage from Alex Ferguson. I learned so much that I can’t learn anywhere else and I apply them to my career.”
A Wolrd Cup winner with Brazil, Kleberson was famously unveiled alongside Ronaldo, but the pair had contrasting fortunes at Old Trafford.
After dislocating a shoulder in only his second outing for the club, the midfielder went on to make another 28 appearances in two seasons before being offloaded to Besiktas.
“At Man United I had tough moments a lot of the time, I got a lot of injuries and struggled a lot,” Kleberson told the Manchester Evening News in 2019.
“It was a difficult time, and when you see a lot of evaluation from your performance at top teams the criticism can be very high, particularly at United.”
Cristiano Ronaldo’s first days at Manchester United explained by former team-mate
Former Manchester United midfielder Quinton Fortune has revealed how Cristiano Ronaldo predicted his rise to stardom as a teenager.
Ronaldo has come a long way since he first made his move to Old Trafford back in 2003. The Portuguese ace started out as a relative unknown at United, before going on to become one of the greatest players in football history.
Since those early days with the Reds, Ronaldo has gone on to win five Ballon d’Ors, become the highest goalscorer of all time, and win countless trophies with United, Real Madrid and Juventus. Now 37 years old, the forward continues to break records after making his return to United last summer.
And Ronaldo was never in any doubt about his rise to the top. Speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes at the launch of their 5-A-Side Bet on Brighton vs Man United, former team-mate Fortune revealed the lengths his former team-mate went to in order to single himself out from the rest at a young age.
“I’ve seen the work Cristiano [Ronaldo] puts in; I’ve seen it firsthand,” Fortune said. “The determination, the desire, the mindset, you name it, he’s got it.
“He just brings that confidence and belief, whether he’s 17 or 37 – I remember when he arrived at the club in 2003, he told us that he was going to be the best. That mindset, and the way he’s trained since then; putting weights around his ankles and doing stepovers, going to the gym every day, fine-tuning every single part of his game… it’s absolutely unbelievable. If any player, young or old, is looking for guidance, there’s your man!”
Few could have predicted the meteoric rise Ronaldo would enjoy during those early days at United. Even before he joined the club though, Fortune and his team-mates knew they were getting something special.
“Cristiano was 17 when he joined up with us at Manchester United – and obviously the move came off the back of that pre-season friendly we played against Sporting Lisbon,” Fortune added. “Me personally, I didn’t know anything about him to be totally honest with you.
“We just knew we were playing against Sporting in the opening of their new stadium; we’d just come back from a tour of America, and that was it. As the game went on – and luckily I’m playing on the other side of the pitch when this is happening – this kid just stands out instantly to us; he’s doing all of these tricks, he’s quick on the ball, he’s putting in these amazing crosses. I’m just thinking ‘wow, who’s that kid?’
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