Total recall: Ronaldo's best at Old Trafford

Ahead of the much-awaited Champions League clash between Manchester United and Real Madrid, Sportstar revisits five stellar performances from the former United hero at Old Trafford.

Ronaldo spent six successful seasons at Manchester United before his move to Real Madrid in 2009.   -  Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo is set to return to Old Trafford for the second time with another club after leaving Manchester United in 2009, reputation forged as a superstar.

He had returned once in Real Madrid colours in 2013, scoring the winning goal in a round of 16 Champions League clash. He had not celebrated the goal. 

On Tuesday, he will be in Juventus colours against his former team, with whom he enjoyed six trophy-laden years.

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The striker's superstar status took shape under the tutelage of Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. He scored 118 goals for The Red Devils, starring in three victorious Premier League campaigns and landing a Champions League title.

Before the much-awaited Champions League clash between the two European giants, Sportstar revisits five stellar performances from the former United hero at Old Trafford.

vs AS Roma, 2007

Roma came to Old Trafford with a 2-1 lead from the first leg win in the quarterfinal. Manchester United was scintillating on the night, with Ronaldo announcing himself against the elites of the Champions League in his fledgling career. He set up Michael Carrick's opening goal before scoring a brace, as United thrashed Roma 7-1 to advance to the semifinal.

 

vs Tottenham Hotspur, 2009

Ronaldo cut a frustrated figure for most part of the season after a move to Real Madrid in the summer failed to materialise. But with the Premier League title on the line and trailing 2-0 against Tottenham Hotspur at home, Ronaldo kick-started one of the best comebacks in the league's history. He scored twice in the space of 12 minutes in the second half. His second goal put United ahead and sent Old Trafford into raptures. He also set up Wayne Rooney for United's fourth. Alex Ferguson's men emerged 5-2 winners that night. United went on to win its third successive Premier League title ahead of Liverpool by a point.

 

vs Fulham, 2006

There was talk of a rift with Rooney in the aftermath of the events in the World Cup (where he winked after Rooney's red card), and also a buzz that the Portuguese would seek a move away from Old Trafford. He let his football do the talking, combining with Rooney to devastating effect to dismantle Fulham 5-1 in the opening match of the Premier League. Ronaldo's goal-scoring form — 17 goals in the Premier League in 2006/07 — catapulted him that season to the status of United's go-to man. The Red Devils wrestled back the league title after three years.

 

vs Portsmouth, 2008

A distinct memory from the night would be of Portsmouth goalkeeper David James rooted helplessly to his goal as Ronaldo's 25-yard knuckleball free-kick rocketed into the top corner. A few minutes earlier, Ronaldo had scored his first of the match, running onto a through ball from Nani to score from acute angle. Ronaldo could have added a third but he scuffed his finish from close range. After the match, Ferguson described his free-kick as one of the best he had ever seen.

 

vs Newcastle United, 2008

In a career studded with more than 50 hat-tricks, Ronaldo managed the feat just once in his stay at United. With the score deadlocked at 0-0 in the 49th minute, Ronaldo opened United's account with a free-kick that kept low and crept past Shay Given. He then ran onto a through ball from Carlos Tevez to slot in his second, before cutting in to his left to thump home his third of the night.