5 Moments of Cristiano Ronaldo’s Debut in Senior Career

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“Before this season, CR7 made five debuts. How did he look? This is a fact.”

1NEWS – Each of the best players, of course, has traveled a lot of terrain, to face all the challenges to accumulate experience after experience. Cristiano Ronaldo is one such example.

He is currently back at Manchester United after playing for Juventus and Real Madrid. Ronaldo is now regarded as one of the greatest players of all time and often makes a brilliant first impression on his debut.

Here we explain Ronaldo’s journey to become the great player he is today:

1. Sporting Lisbon

When he was 17 years old, Ronaldo was promoted to the Sporting first team in August 2002. That was after impressing in a pre-season friendly.

Ronaldo then made his competitive debut against Inter Milan in a Champions League Qualifier, coming off the bench in the 58th minute in Lisbon. “I remember when he entered the pitch, in the middle of the second half,” Portuguese reporter Pedro Marques told UEFA in 2017.

“I heard a supporter near me say: ‘This is the kid I was talking to you about. Just wait and see’. So there are already people who want to see him play,” added Marques.

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The winger showed glimpses of his talent and humiliated Luigi di Biagio with incredible skill. However, he was unable to make a big impact as the match ended 0-0. Ronaldo made three substitute appearances before scoring twice in his first start in a Primeira Liga match against Moreirense.

2. Manchester United

After humiliating John O’Shea in a pre-season friendly in August 2003, Ronaldo convinced Sir Alex Ferguson to bring him to Old Trafford in a £12.24 million deal.

Nine days after the friendly in Lisbon, the winger was included on the bench for the match against Bolton Wanderers. With United leading 1-0 at Old Trafford, he replaced Nicky Butt in the 61st minute and played on the left wing.

Ronaldo wears the iconic No.7 inherited from David Beckham. He started to entertain the home crowd and leave Bolton defenders dizzy with his brilliant footwork. He won a penalty which Ruud van Nistelrooy failed to convert. He also had a hand in three goals in the second half as United won 4-0.

“Undoubtedly it was the most exciting debut performance I’ve ever seen. There are players who have some things in common (with me). But this kid has more than anyone, especially because he’s really two-legged,” said George Best after match.

“He can play on both flanks, beat players with ease and make dangerous crosses with his left or right. When was the last time you saw him?” added the legend.

3. Portugal

The excitement around Ronaldo started to increase after his United debut. Then, he made his international debut just a few days later. The teenager replaced Luis Figo at half-time in the friendly against Kazakhstan and almost made an immediate impact. He made a chaotic run before forcing a save from the goalkeeper.

He is full of confidence and shows no fear of having the ball. He showed his skills and faced his opponent at every turn. Despite only being on the pitch for 45 minutes, Ronaldo received the Man of the Match award and was subsequently named in Portugal’s squad for Euro 2004.

“He already has the vision to be great. He wants to be the fastest, the strongest, the top scorer. He wants to be the best at everything,” Fernando Meira, who was part of the Portugal team that night, told FourFourTwo in 2020.

4. Real Madrid

Ronaldo developed into one of the best players in the world, after United completed a transfer worth 80 million pounds to Real Madrid in the summer of 2009.

He made his first appearance for the club in a pre-season friendly against Irish side Shamrock Rovers. But, his competitive debut came against Deportivo La Coruna in La Liga. Unlike his previous three debuts, Ronaldo immediately entered the starting line-up up front along with Raul Gonzalez and Karim Benzema.

Ronaldo missed a great opportunity in the early stages. But, he got their second goal in a 3-2 win after scoring from the penalty spot. It was the first of his 451 goals for Los Blancos.

“I feel good. It’s always important to start with a win. I’m happy the team is in good shape, now we have to keep improving,” Ronaldo said after the game.

5. Juventus

Ronaldo went nine years without making his debut again. But, then joined Juventus in a £99.2 million deal in 2018. He was immediately included in the first squad and made his first appearance in a Serie A match against Chievo Verona. He helped Juventus win 3-2 at the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi.

But Ronaldo was unable to score as he was denied several times by Chievo goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino. The forward was also penalized for handball. Juventus avoided a draw when Federico Bernardeschi scored the rightful goal in injury time.

“Physically, Ronaldo defended well on his debut considering he only trained with us for seven days and he did very well,” said Massimiliano Allegri at the time.

“He drew on their defence, he moved between the lines, and on several occasions he was not served with the ball. You could already see that he was a different player. I was struck by how easily he blended into the team and he was very pleased with the win in the last match. finally,” concluded Allegri.

(atmaja wijaya/you)

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