To mark the 10th anniversary of RoM today, there will be several articles remembering some of the best moments for Manchester United fans over the past decade. Shaun Birch has spoken about one of his favourite memories.
The 2007-2008 season is one that will forever be remembered by Reds as the club ended it Champions of both England and Europe and for a season that saw Cristiano Ronaldo deliver one of the great individual seasons by a United player.
The United number 7’s remarkable form throughout the season, that saw him score in 30 of the 49 games he played in across all competitions ending with a total of 42 goals, led to a hat-trick of personal domestic awards closely followed by the Balon d’Or as Ronaldo was recognised as the best player in the world.
Whilst the previous season had given us a glimpse of the goal scoring machine he would become when he netted 17 League goals in United’s title winning season and another 6 across the cup competitions it was the 2007/2008 season that manoeuvred him into the category of worlds best.
There are many Cristiano goals that stand out across the season – his stunning free kick against Portsmouth that arrowed into the top corner as David James stood and watched, his cheeky Cryuff flick against Aston Villa or his goal against Kiev that saw him trick his way inside and smash it into the far corner like it was a training session but there is one goal that always stands out when I think back to Ronaldo and his year.
On April 1st 2008, United travelled to Italy for one of the toughest away fixtures in Europe as they faced Roma in the 1st leg of their Champions league Quarter Final tie.
With the game finely poised 5 minutes before half time Wayne Rooney turned brilliantly to attack the Roma penalty box before rolling the ball to Paul Scholes wide inside the penalty box. Scholes took one touch and chipped a floated ball back across the box.
At this point Ronaldo isn’t even in the television shot but as the ball reaches its highest point he arrives at full speed into the area before leaping and hanging in the air full of grace and bravery to power a header into the bottom corner.
The goal perfectly showcased what United fans were seeing on almost a weekly basis – drive, pace, power, commitment and most importantly, a finish and when I look back on this glorious season this moment always stands out as one that demonstrated just how good and how important Ronaldo was.
Wayne Rooney scored in the second half as United won 2-0 before advancing all the way to the Final where Ronaldo scored yet another beautiful header and were crowned Champions of Europe for the third time.
That boy Ronaldo, what a wonderful sight.