Cristiano Ronaldo joined Real Madrid ten years ago

On this day 10 year ago, Cristiano Ronaldo completed a world-record transfer move from Manchester United to Real Madrid.

Cristiano Ronaldo became the most expensive football player in the world on this day 10 years ago, as Manchester United accepted an £80 million transfer offer from Real Madrid for their Portuguese star.

Already the best player in the world, Ronaldo had won three successive Premier League titles with the Red Devils and reached back-to-back Champions League final. He won one of the European deciders and was later awarded the Ballon d’Or for 2008.

The Portuguese was one of Real Madrid’s four big signings that summer, alongside Kaka, Xabi Alonso and Karim Benzema. He was unveiled in front of more than 80,000 Madrid supporters at the Bernabeu, surpassing the 25-year record of 75,000 fans who had welcomed Diego Maradona at Napoli.

He was given the No. 9 shirt, as Real Madrid legend Raul was the one who had the No. 7 on his back. However, Raul left Santiago Bernabeu in the next summer and Ronaldo received the iconic number 7 shirt.

In his first season in the royal white shirt, Cristiano Ronaldo scored 33 goals in 35 games across all competitions. Unfortunately, Los Blancos failed to win a trophy, finishing as runners-up in Spanish La Liga, with record-breaking 96 points for a side which had finished in second.

The first trophy Ronaldo won in his nine-year spell at Real Madrid was the 2011 Copa del Rey, in his second season with the club.

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He was Madrid’s main man in the competition, netting seven goals in the process, including the decider in the extra-time of the final against Barcelona.

Ronaldo lifted the Spanish La Liga for the first time in the following season, scoring 46 goals in 38 league appearances. He finished the campaign with 60 goals in all competitions – his best record in a single season at Real Madrid.

In 2013-14 the Portuguese won his second Champions League trophy, but first one since he moved to Spain. Again, Ronaldo was Madrid’s leader in the competition, with 17 goals in 11 games, setting a new Champions League record, for most goals in a single European campaign.

Cristiano came the closest to beat his own record in the 2015-16 season, when he scored 16 goals in the Champions League to win another European crown for Los Blancos – their 11th of the competition.

It was only a start of a three-year reign in the competition, as Madrid ruled Europe in 2017 and 2018 again, with Ronaldo scoring 27 Champions League goals in the next two campaign.

The Portuguese won four more Ballon d’Or awards in his time at Santiago Bernabeu and lifted the Spanish League one more time, in 2017, completing a La Liga and Champions League double.

He came as the best player in the world, but left as a legend, becoming Real Madrid’s all-time top goalscorer with 450 goals in 438 appearances.

Ronaldo decided he wants a new challenge in football in the summer of 2018 and switched Madrid for Turin, joining Juventus in €100 million transfer deal. He will always be remembered as the leader of an extraordinary generation which won three successive Champions League titles.

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