Despite its recent woes and a gap of the entire decade between the marauding Manchester United and the hallowed Premier League, the team has made notable signings in the ongoing transfer window that brags about the likes of Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho to bolster their ranks and challenge for the title.
Ever since Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down from the coaching mantle, Manchester United was kept starving of the Premier League title and despite coming very close within a couple of occasions under the chaperonage of Mourinho and Ole Solskjaer, they failed to cross the finishing line.
In the latter half of the opening decennium of the 21st century, Cristiano Ronaldo played a crucial role alongside Rooney, Tevez and Berbatov in helping them secure the Premier League with a lot of shiny showdowns and this stoked the expectations of the Devils in the forthcoming years.
He stared for Manchester United for a staggering 6 years, which saw him smashing 84 goals from 196 fixtures. He wasn’t an out-and-out striker back in the day and generally was known for his explosions down the wing. His establishment as a marksman came when he arrived at Santiago Bernabéu in 2009.
In today’s story, we will take a glance at the playing XI for Manchester United when Cristiano Ronaldo made a debut for them. The debut came against Bolton Wanderers on August 16, 2003, in which United secured a comfortable 4-0 victory.
Goal-keeper: Tim Howard
One of the best shot-stoppers in the history of the Premier League, Tim Howard held the fortress of Manchester United. Despite being a part of United for a while, he could only bag 45 performances in 4 years and finally found his footing at Goodison Park. He is currently plying his trade for Mephis 901.
Defenders: Phil Neville, Rio Ferdinand, Mikael Sylvestre, Quinton Fortune
Phil Neville was one of the most significant right-backs in the history of Manchester United. His 263 appearances for the Devils over the span of 11 years saw him rising to the top-ranks of side backs, which was also followed by a notable stint at Everton for the next eight years.
Known as one of the most towering centre-backs and being involved in one of the most iconic pairings of full-backs with Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand is arguably the best CB to have featured for Manchester United. He played a whopping 312 matches before featuring in a solitary season in the colours of QPR and then finally pulling the plug on his international career.
Mikael Sylvestre left a towering impact on the United defence, where he featured for nine years, playing a whopping 249 games. He even scored on 6 occasions before switching his allegiance to Arsenal for a solitary year.
Though not known very remarkably throughout the blazing history of Manchester United, Quinton Fortune was a part of the club for a wholesome 7 years, participating in 76 matches. Sadly, the United rearguard was way too flashy at that point in time to make space for the first team coach of Reading.
Midfielders: Paul Scholes, Roy Keane, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs
It was this midfield that bred chaos in the heart of Europe, with every individual being a star in his own capacity. Paul Scholes was the marauder in chief from the right and with every single opportunity rolling down his path, he blasted a meaty piledriver into the back of the net, leaving even the renowned Catalans flummoxed.
If there was a monster always ready to pick up on his opponents, irrespective of their various shapes and sizes, it was this Irish giant. He played in 326 matches for Manchester United and hammered home 33 times. There is an iconic snap of Keane picking up on an entire contingent of players to defend his teammate’s modesty.
It was 12 long years that saw Nicky Butt playing for the Devils, and he was a completely uncompromising lad in the midfield. He was not particularly artistic but could run riots with his physical display. He featured in 270 appearances for United.
If you have watched the documentary called “The Class of 92”, you would know the kind of impact that Giggsy had on the fabric of Devils, and it was absolutely overwhelming. His iconic run against Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-final was absolutely historic that got capped off with a screaming finish sending Manchester United into a frenzy. Giggs was the embodiment of a true Red Devil.
Forwards: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Ruud van Nistlerooy
The man who delivered the coup de grâce to the dreams of Bayern Munich in the 1999 UEFA Champions League finale, Ole Solskjaer played a crucial role in the attacking line-up of Manchester United. He is the current manager of United and has done a decent job as the manager of the club.
The Dutch artist set Old Trafford on fire with an ecstatic brand of aggression upfront. He plundered 95 goals from the 150 matches that he starred in for the Devils. His record of scoring consecutively in eleven matches stood the test of time before Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy could finally put an end to it.
Cristiano Ronaldo had to wait for 60 minutes in the shade before Fergie realised that United’s attacking front has been in a dampened state and will need something extraordinary to break free from the manacles of the Wanderers.
The substitution of Ronaldo in place of Nicky Butt instantly blew life to the United outfit as he engineered the second goal for United, snubbing away the sturdy resistance from Bolton.