Cristiano Ronaldo Best Free Kicks – Top 10

Ronaldo became Manchester United’s first-ever Portuguese player when he signed for £12.24 million before the 2003–04 season. He was given the number 7 shirt by Alex Ferguson, who said that after a friendly with Sporting, United’s players “talked about him constantly, and on the plane back from the game they urged me to sign him” and that “he is one of the most exciting young players I’ve ever seen”. Ronaldo later revealed that he had requested the number 28 (his number at Sporting), as he did not want the pressure of living up to the expectation linked to the number 7 shirt, which had previously been worn by United legends such as George Best, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona and David Beckham. “After I joined, the manager asked me what number I’d like. I said 28. But Ferguson said ‘No, you’re going to have No. 7,’ and the famous shirt was an extra source of motivation. I was forced to live up to such an honour”.

Cristiano Ronaldo Best Free Kicks – Top 10

Ronaldo made his team debut as a 60th-minute substitute in a 4–0 home victory over Bolton Wanderers, and produced a performance hailed by Alex Ferguson as “marvellous”. His early form earned high praise from United legend George Best, who said that Ronaldo was “special”, while former manager Ron Atkinson effused about his “his pace and quick thinking” and how it meant United could “spring very quickly from defence into attack”.

Cristiano Ronaldo Best Free Kicks – Top 10

He scored his first goal for Manchester United with a free kick in a 3–0 win over Portsmouth on 1 November 2003. His only other league goals in the season all came in 2004; he scored the second in a 3–0 win against Tottenham Hotspur on 20 March, the equalising goal in a 2–1 victory away to Birmingham City on 10 April, and the opener in a 2–0 victory over Aston Villa on the final day of the season in a game in which he also received his first red card. Ronaldo also scored in the fifth round of the 2003–04 FA Cup in a 4–2 Manchester derby against Manchester City. Ronaldo ended his first season in English football by scoring the opening goal in United’s 3–0 FA Cup Final victory over Millwall,[53] with his performance receiving praise from Gary Neville who said “I think Ronaldo can be one of the top footballers in the world”.