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There’s only one Ronaldo!

When Cristiano Ronaldo first came to United it was apparent to all who watched him on a weekly basis that he was one day going to be a superstar. I don’t suppose even his biggest fan could have predicted exactly how good he would become though.

“There’s only one Ronaldo!” our fans used to chant in jest, with our skinny teenager, who this country labelled a ‘one trick pony’ hardly comparable with the Brazilian Ronaldo, who had just been named the best player in the world.

But every year after signing he developed in to a better player, with 2008 the defining year for him. He scored 42 goals in 47 games for United, including our only goal in the European Cup final as we beat Chelsea to win the cup for a third time. I remember thinking then, foolishly, that he would never better that record. He was crowned as the best player in England, Europe and the world. Nobody could touch him.

Ronaldo became the most expensive player in the history of the game the following summer, signing for Real Madrid for a massive £80m. At the end of that season he had scored 33 goals in 35 games. This was still a ridiculous record but his goal tally at United still dwarfed his first season in Spain.

However, the following season he scored 53 goals in 54 games, the year after 60 goals in 55 games, the year after 55 goals in 55 games, and he’s currently on 29 goals in 22 games.

Cristiano Ronaldo now has 400 career goals, including 353 at club level. Interestingly enough, the Brazilian Ronaldo scored 352.

Aged just 28, it’s scary to think of all of what our Ronaldo might have achieved by the time he retires.


About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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124 Comments

  1. samuel - united WE stand says:

    Tommy – wigan are a small town which is more rugby orientated than football, the fact they’ve been in the premier league is astonishing in the first place. I don’t think bruce did a better job in terms of playing philosophy and ambifion despite the low expectation and I’m certain he too would have led them to relegation. Fair enough wigan went down but it.isn’t as plain white and black as you make out. That wigan team lacked sufficient quality, especially in defence and that’s due to lack of investment compared to what moyes got at everton throughout his tenure. To be honest, if comparisons were made between the two managers and how they.met expectation at wigan (to avoid relegation and progress) and everton (mid-table and show progress in playing philosophy and ambition), I would say martinez met did a better job. Like I said, time will tell but my view is martinez has less experience but he has possibly more potential, it is up to moyes to get a grip of things, I think the “he dragged everton on a shoe-string budget” is washed out, he has at a bigger club now and there will be no where to hide under the clouds of oldtrafford

  2. NBI Red 21 says:

    @ 20LEgend – imo everyone is over-estimating the task Moyes has and making all kind of excuses for him. Other top Clubs have had managers hop in and out and not fallen out of contention. Moyes has one of the best jobs in football and had plenty of time and backing to get in MF players. Let us stop pretending United is much harder to manage than other Clubs, if anything the lack of pressure on the manager from the Board makes it easier. This season none of the other top teams have been very convincing and are just beginning to get some form, yet United is in 7th.

    Also what makes you think Moyes will get it right? Why do you think he is not a Hodgson or Souness?

    @ Tommy – don’t understand why you are getting so worked up. My point was Rafael made a big difference and Moyes clearly did not rate him that much start of season. That is my view. You can disagree but that’s how I call it. I would like to say Moyes got things right, lets credit him entirely for Rooney form and Welbeck finishing. Still not good enough.

  3. Tommy says:

    @NBI

    Big difference is other clubs are used to differenct voices every year or two, we have had 1 voice at OT for a very long time, some of these players have only known 1 manager and others have only had 1 manager for years and years. Thats not an excuse thats a fact, The change at United is different to the change at any other club that has changed their manager this year, so to compare is not fair really

  4. warrored says:

    @John…..ref the Daily Fail article.

    It’s all well and good making comparisons and lauding Martinez, but the article gives no or very little credit to Moyes at all which is ridiculous.

    Christ they are even trying to pin Colemans success on Martinez.

    Martinez’ weak link has always been his defence. The one he has inherited of Howard Distin Jagielka Baines Coleman Ovieda Stones are all Moyes boys. Combined cost of £20 million. That’s incredible. But of course no credit to Moyes.

    Everton had to sell Rooney as they were verging on Bankruptcy. The Rooney money stabilised the club. Lescott refused to play v Arsenal to get to City but Moyes made him play. He then refused to train until he got his wish.

    Martinez is doing well, but the step up from Wigan to Everton is nothing like the step up from Everton to United. Totally different expectations and pressures.

    Another thing everyone forgets is that Moyes has presided over the emergence of Rooney Rodwell and Barkley, 3 highly coveted players. He has spotted talents like Cahill Pienaar Fellaini Jagielka Lescott Baines Coleman and Arteta and helped to develop them all.

    He has a minus 3 million net spend after 10 years.

    I didn’t see City or Chelsea falling over themselves to help Everton in the past so you have to wonder why are they now? It’s obvious to help strengthen them.

    Moyes might be struggling right now and Everton punching above their weight but the real test for Martinez will be his longevity in the job and how he copes when having to face selling his best players like Moyes had too.

    I have nothing against Martinez and wish him well and who knows how he will do, but unless he gets top 4 which I very much doubt then despite being strengthened by City Chelsea and Barcelona he won’t have achieved anything more than Moyes has at Everton.

  5. wayne barker says:

    The Vidic article doesn’t even mention anything about Utd not wanting to extend his contract so why even post it.Vidic has had injury problems since the 2011-12 season but all of a sudden it’s Moyes fault for overplaying him.The Moyes out brigade which started from day one just can’t give it a rest every fucking thread posting links to every negative article and blaming him for everything.I wonder how Utd would have fared last year with RVP and Carrick out for extended periods and Rooney carrying a niggling injury.It’s just become fucking boring thread after thread the same bollocks by the same posters.I thought the new sign in system was supposed to stop multi user names,there’s more now than ever before

  6. Tommy says:

    @warrored

    Top post mate, to belittle moyes achievments at Everton to try and big up Martinez is pathetic to be honest. When Martinez has a decade of top 6 liker Moyes did on a shoestring budget at Everton then we will talk until then piprdown folks

  7. warrored says:

    @Tommy….spot on mate. I’ve been saying this all season. Players at most PL clubs bar Everton and Arsenal are used to new regimes on a regular basis. Uniteds players are not. From Adnan to Giggs they have only known one person in charge.

    I equate it to a person losing their grand father. Their must be a grieving process going on and a sense that the boss will put it alright as he always has done. Unfortunately he’s gone.

    It’s now up to the players to stand up and fight and work with the new man to put it right.

    The players have been hiding behind Moyes. They are champions. So far very few of them have shown that to be the case. They need to back him because he will be there longer than them if they keep on burying their heads in the sand.

  8. Dan Young says:

    why is everyone writing essays today!!

    well said warrored. add to that some of the main players that are absolutely crucial to evertons wins this season are on loan and wont be there next year.

    john i liked your comment (essay) about how uniteds players are here cause they bring different dimensions to the starting line up .. for example, cleverley (fast tempo passing), carrick (controls tempo and distributes play from a deep lying midfield role) anderson (runs past players from midfield), fletcher (constantly is tracking players down and trying to take the ball from them), jones (basically same as fletcher but younger, quicker and got more stamina), fellaini (a huge physique who can be brought on to get a last minute header) people that say to sell these players also say city are a bunch of mercenaries .. yet want us to bring in a load of £25+ million players. however we dont have a player that can do all of those things which is where we are going wrong, someone like yaya toure, paul scholes or arturo vidal.

    i do however disagree with the moyes bashing but thats your opinion. im more of the opinion of its an entire squad getting used to his training/playing/leadership methods and some of those players are not suitable for his style of play, and its the transfer windows that can help change that. im more then happy to ride out the storm and end up a better team from it. moyes liked a high defensive line with fulbacks bombing forwards, a midfield base of 2 that have a high tempo and high stamina feeding the attack and wide players. this is why jone + cleverley, rafael, evra, rooney, valencia (kind of) are having such good seasons because they suit his style of play. and the fact adnan januzaj is our standout player further adds to my opinion that its players getting used to moyes’ style of play, adnan has came into the first team and has only ever known moyes’ playing style rather then still thinking of sir alex’s. and then theres the fact moyes needs to get to know his players and see who he trusts.

    good example is brendan rogers at liverpool. he came into a squad that not many suited his style. we took the piss out of his shit results at the beginning, he brought in some players that can suit his style of play and now that he has got the squad he wanted he is getting them play some fucking amazing football. these things take time, your ruining uniteds chance for long term success when you have a problem with the club giving it to a struggling manager in the early days of his united career

  9. Blacksocks says:

    Finally got the time to post again! What a depressing start to the New Year it has been. I had thought leading up to the Spurs match that there had been signs of improvement and despite some awful decisions by the ref, our home performances continue to be cause for concern.

    Whatever Moyes says about player availability (he would be foolish to say anything else) United desperately need at least two players this transfer window. A world class midfielder is a must – simples. But for me, full back can wait till the summer, its a world class central defender that I believe the team needs more than anything else.

    Yes it is risky and espensive buying in Jan but don’t believe that players don’t want to move – offer any player an increase in wages and big signing on fee, a bonus for his agent and (sadly the least of these 3 reasons I expect) the chance to play for United and even the most devoted of players will seriously consider the transfer. Most would sign on the dotted line within hours!

  10. 20LEgend says:

    @ NBI Red 21

    On the contrary, I think people still underestimate the task. As Tommy said, the other clubs have people and systems in place to make a manager less important but not United.

    At United, nearly every single person was hired by, or during the time of Sir Alex. Ferguson was a meticulous man, and every detail at Old Trafford was built to his exacting standards. Every person knew what their job was, and what the end point was. Now everythings changed. Empires have fallen in history after the death of a king, Countries have fallen after change of a monarch, United itself faced dilemmas after Busby, so no its not new and its not unexpected. Moyes needs time. And not 6 months. About 1-2 yrs.

    And no, it is not just United. Just watch Arsenal struggle when Wenger departs and you’ll understand. Wenger will definitely leave a pool of young talent for his successor but over time the differences will show, and the club will struggle if the proper manager is not appointed. Its not like all the other clubs where managers keep coming and going.

    What makes me trust Moyes? Think about it this way. Sir Alex built an empire after 27yrs of hard work. Now he WILL NOT leave it in unsupervised hands. Imagine If you had to work in a construction site for 7 months, day and night, build a house, and then watch someone destroy it, how would you feel? It would be a million times worse for Sir Alex. He chose his successor very carefully, and after observing him for years. Also, I personally have always liked David Moyes. I always wanted him to succeed Sir Alex. Always saw another Sir Alex in him, whatever the slight differences may be.

    We have 2 choices. We can either distrust the manager, boo him at games, reduce the morale of players, make Moyes job much much more difficult. Or, we could cheer him on, increase his confidence, raise the players performance, make his life and job much easier, just cheer him on blindly believing the greatest manager the world has seen. I chose the latter.

  11. John says:

    @20LEgend:

    “You’d actually be surprised at how many fans wanted Moyes. The stability he offers is something few other coaches in world football can offer right now.”

    Mate, yeah I am really surprised to know that tbh. :P

    Re Stability, yeah you are 100% correct about that I have to admit. However, as I have said in the previous post in reply to your post doubt is the level of stability we can expect not just stability. Top 8, Top 6, Top4, Top3 etc…So far we have seen stability level of Top 8 from Moyes.

    Mate I am sure you too recognize that almost all of the united fans want to see attractive attacking football and want to see the team compete with the attitude “We didn’t lose the game but we just ran out of time”..You know thats the core of Manchester United football club…add to it that the financial structure we have in our club now really needs us to be in top 4 and later stages of major tournaments.

    So, the appointment of Moyes was expected to be like Arsene Wenger in his barren years but it has been not only frustrating to that but it has been bar the style of football we want to watch our team play.

    It is all about level of stability to me. You can give all the money you like to Tony Pulis or Steve Bruce and players you want. They will for sure provide your club stability but NOT the trophies. I don’t think Stability bar attractive football bar trophies fits in at MUFC.

  12. 20LEgend says:

    @ Tommy, warrored, Dan Young

    Top posts mates.

    @ John

    Just read your comment about each United player bringing something different to the table. Top post mate. Always thought Sir Alex valued variety in the squad very highly.

  13. 20LEgend says:

    @ John

    To each his own then. Lets just agree to disagree. I think we will see attractive football under Moyes, but not for a while yet, not until he settles down completely.

  14. tallestreD says:

    I would have thought his style of play should be what is worrisome and not his trophies. So if we appointed Arsene Wenger wouldn’t most of you still say he’s trophyless?

  15. Dan Young says:

    moyes has a good style of play. just at the moment he has not been given the players needed to fully show how good it is. his defences are immense and its used as a base for the attacking play. what he did with players like distin and jagielka at everton due to a low transfer budget is incredible. its also this style of play why we arent singing a song this season about how we have won 21 premier league trophies.

    i cant say enough how arturo vidal is the perfect player for us. he is everything what our 5 midfielders (minus fellaini) currently bring to the starting line up .. but he only takes up 1 place in the starting line-up rather then 5. hes a cunt of a player .. but i want him to be our cunt. if i was a player id hate to play against him

  16. CTRED says:

    January 7, 2014 at 11:33
    ThymmEde says:
    The way AC Milan signed Honda for free, Arsenal got Flamini back for free, now Bayern going to get Lewy for free. Cant we ever make such signings? Am sure the club is still attractive enough to lure good players. Promise them good wages and see out their contracts and join us for free

    Does anyone think Flamini on a 3-year contract with a free transfer would not have been miles better than $27M for Fellaini? While I would have preferred Flamini on a 2-year, he turned down Milan only becuase they only offered a 2-year, so we would have had to offer 3. At 29 he is only on $40K/week and has played over 10 years of champions league football. Once Arsenal came in for him it would have always been difficult, but the point is that deals like this are out there if we where to look,which gets to my next point.

    Not only has Moyes no experience of shopping at the high end of the market, he has been dismantling Uniteds scouting network and brining in his Everton cronies, most of whom have no experience of the high end of the market. The purchase of Fellaini showed that they do not have a good feel for what a champions league quality player is.

  17. CTRED says:

    People can moan about how Fergie left David a squad on life support, and how Lukaku is a differencde maker, however, the comparison of Everton under Moyes and Martinez, and United under Moyes and Fergieis about as close a “controlled experiment” you’ll ever get in football.

  18. tallestreD says:

    Fair enough Dan. I think so too. He first needs to sort out that leaky defence since we aren’t scoring much

  19. Dan Young says:

    tallestred .. definitely needs to sort out the defence. we may see some shock exits in the next 2 windows. there just seems to be no movement in our play unless we have cleverley and jones in the middle with rooney dropping back. this is why vidal would be perfect. he takes risks that always seem to come off. hes all over the pitch every single game. i cant think of a better player in the entire world to play in a midfield 2

    random news that our odds have been shortened to bring in mata cause a regular run of bets

  20. tallestreD says:

    I don’t really care for who be bring in. If the system is not there any addition would be just be as we were. Unless who we bring in enhances the system or brings forth the system

  21. dannysoya LOVES USAIN BOLT says:

    Here we go again with Moyes and the media. We will try and win the game if we can. IF WE CAN? What the fuck do you mean by If we can? So you’re doubting your OWN team’s ability to beat fucking SUNDERLAND? Some motivator you must be David.

    This is one area that I am particularly irritated with Moyes about. He needs some SERIOUS media training. This isn’t fucking Preston North End any longer. Journalists are looking for soundbites and Moyes keeps giving it to them. FFS. You have to be confident and let that confidence translate into the players. Enough of this “oh just try your hardest and whatever the outcome, we just have to take it” attitude. WE MUST WIN tonight. That has to be the attitude. ughhhhh.

  22. iamMatty says:

    JANUARY 7, 2014 AT 14:53
    Tommy says:
    Harry Redknapp in his book hit the nail on the head
    when he said Spurs started off attrociously against
    Inter Milan and were 4 0 down and down to 10 men,
    I changed my tacktics around completely and got it
    back to 4 3 with Bale running riot and had we had
    an extra 5 minutes we may have went on to win the
    game, If that was Rafa in the other dug out he
    would of been called a tactical genius but because I
    am English nothing gets said. The surprising thing
    was in the return game at white hart lane Rafa
    Benetez did nothing special to stop Bale and he ran
    riot again and he gets called a genius, had it been
    me I would of tried things to stop Bale but he wasnt
    interested.
    Now if Moyes was a foregin coach this page would
    of been inundated with praise for his work at
    Everton but of course hes Scottish so he must be
    tactically naive of course because Scotland has
    never produced any decent managers before have
    they ………
    .
    .
    JANUARY 7, 2014 AT 16:02
    Tommy says:
    Moyes and SAF are british, They dont have a
    scottish passport, I dont have an English passport,
    We have BRITISH passports and until they gain
    independence thats how it will remain!

    .
    .
    .
    This proves it all, I’ve been arguing with a myopic nationalist that obviously cares about man united having a british manager more than the club moving forward. Shame on you tommy, you label rio ferdinand a traitor, constantly berate and insult our players but suck mr moyes’ off just cos you want the british as a manager. You boo nani but clap off mr everton,support one person but pick apart the whole team, shame on you myopic stupid british twats, no wonder your national teams will continue to be a disgrace and laughing stock to the whole world.
    Dear tommy if you wanted a nationalist club then go support fc united, cos wether you admit it or not without the foreign revenue, fans and support you’d just be that fan in the north-west who couldn’t even beat out claims of been outnumbered by city fans in manchester.

  23. Daniel Picard says:

    Dear All

    Im only a member here to give you a different view on R9 vs CR7

    First of all, R9 had his prime time in the 90’s before all his injuries.
    The pace, the strength, the dribbling, the ability to score goals out of nowhere was something the world had never seen before.
    He jumped from club to club and scored almost a goal pr game even the first year of each club. And that was when the leagues
    were much more even then these days.

    Second of all, amount of goals for Real Madrid is a very narrow way to compare these two giants.
    Why ? R9 was not at his prime then. But also, the difference between Real M (and Barca) vs the rest of the teams are way bigger now than before.
    CR7 has maybe 20 chances a game, of course he will score one or two. Even myself would have scored goals for that team.
    R9 had maybe only 5 chances in a game, but was still able to score.
    And CR7 takes all penalties and free-kicks, R9 didn’t
    Goals pr game: CR7 wins, Goals pr chance: R9 wins

    I also have to mention two world cups, and two copa americas, two ‘golden boot’ and two ‘golden foot’.
    His comeback after almost 3 years with injuries, winning the world cup and the golden boot was just amazing.
    What a fucking talent !!
    Until now I still haven’t seen CR7 “participate” in any of the world cups he played in.

    Don’t get me wrong. CR7 is an extraordinary player, but R9 was more remarkable.
    (read quotes from Mourinho, Zlatan, Zidane, etc. etc..)

  24. Daniel Picard says:

    Correction: Two ‘golden ball’ and two ‘golden boot’

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