Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United has had many fans looking back on his first term at the club.
Ronaldo became the world’s best player for the first time at Old Trafford, winning the Ballon d’Or in 2008.
That was the result of an impressive 2007-08 season in which United won the Premier League and Champions League double.
We took a look back at the history of this breathtaking season – Ronaldo’s best in a red jersey.
(Etsuo Hara / Getty Images)
The raw numbers
The raw figures tell their own story. Ronaldo scored 42 goals in 49 games in all competitions.
He won the Premier League Golden Shoe with 31 goals and was also named PFA Player of the Year.
Ronaldo led United’s attack on fame on all fronts as part of a scary and flexible front three along with Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez.
The Portuguese superstar scored ten goals in seven games between Boxing Day and the end of January.
There were unforgettable moments like the breathtaking free kick against Portsmouth and the opening goal in the Champions League final victory over Chelsea.
(John Peters / Manchester United via Getty Images)
What they said
The season started slowly for Ronaldo and United. United drew their first two games of the season and Ronaldo was sent off in Portsmouth in the second.
After the game, Sir Alex Ferguson defended Ronaldo and urged the referees to protect him more.
Ferguson called Ronaldo “absolutely perfect” after a two-goal performance in the 2-1 win over Everton in December 2007.
Bolton coach Gary Megson praised Ronaldo as a “genius” after a free kick in March 2008 in a 2-0 win, which was sealed by another brace.
Legendary character Johan Cruyff stated a month later that at just 22 years old, Ronaldo was better than United legends George Best and Dennis Law.
The applause just rolled on and it was clear that Ronaldo had already reached the very highest level.
(Alex Livesey / Getty Images)
No United player since 2008 has come close to matching Ronaldo’s individual brilliance.
Ferguson compared him to Best and Diego Maradona, and those comments were no exaggeration.
Ronaldo was the absolute star of Ferguson’s last really great United team and it was absolutely exciting to watch.
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