The 2003-04 season was not the best of Sir Alex Ferguson’s Old Trafford reign – but the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo is still memorable.
Manchester United finished third in the Premier League and were knocked out of the Champions League in the round of 16 by Jose Mourinho’s Porto (although they did win the FA Cup).
After a tumultuous season that saw Ferguson lose David Beckham and Juan Sebastian Veron – as well as miss out on Ronaldinho – the Scot took him to Portugal for a friendly against Sporting CP.
And a skinny Portuguese teenager impressed Sir Alex so much, five days later he signed him for £12.5m.
Just four days later, Ronaldo – now back at Old Trafford for his second game – was put on the bench for his new side’s Premier League season opener at home to Bolton.
He came on for Nicky Butt after 61 minutes – and the skinny 18-year-old created electricity, destroyed the away defense and gave the Stretford End a new hero.
Here, SunSport takes a look at what became of the people who appeared with Ronaldo that day.
HOW TO HEART
The goalkeeper is a legend in American football, but Howard never fully believed he had what it took to become United’s No 1, despite making 77 appearances for Sir’s side. Alex.
He left Everton in 2006 after losing to Edwin van der Sar in the dissection order and went on to stardom for the Toffees – making 413 appearances and achieving the hit hero title at Goodison Park.
Last year, at the age of 41, he Retired to play for Memphis 901 FC – the team he owned – for a season, before retiring.
Another left Old Trafford for Everton to become a key player rather than a mere player.
Sir Alex Ferguson really played a big role in his departure from United, and Neville said: “He doesn’t sound like a manager. It’s more like a talking father.
“Anyway, it’s not just a manager looking after his club, because he can keep me for what I’m good at, being a team player. But he realized I need more than that.”
Neville went on to become the captain of Everton, making 303 appearances before retiring.
Fizzer currently manages David Beckham’s Inter Miami.
A Manchester United legend, Ferdinand benefited from the arrival of Nemanja Vidic two and a half years after this match against Bolton.
The two formed a great partnership at the back, winning three consecutive titles in Serb’s first full season with the club.
Ferdinand left in 2014 after a bad spell with Queens Park Rangers after 455 appearances, six league titles and the Champions League at Old Trafford.
He started the world’s shortest boxing career and now gives his opinion on the Reds as a BT pundit, while hosting his own YouTube show.
The Frenchman has not come down as a great at Old Trafford, but has been a regular for Sir Alex’s side this time around.
He was ultimately let down before being allowed to join Arsenal in 2008, but managed an impressive 361 appearances over a nine-year period for the club.
Silvestre retired in 2014 after playing for Werder Bremen, Portland Timbers and Chennaiyin FC.
He is currently an ambassador for the global network of Playon sports professionals, and has studied for a Uefa A License and a sports management degree.
As a central midfielder, the South African will never overwhelm that position against the likes of Roy Keane and Paul Scholes – but he has managed to carve out a place in the team for himself as a defender. left.
Fortune didn’t make a splash in the world at Old Trafford, and enjoyed a nomadic career after leaving – moving on to Bolton, Brescia, AFC Tubize and Doncaster briefly.
He was clearly thought of at United, as he returns there now as a manager working with the club’s Under-21 side.
Fortune is currently the technical coach at Championship Reading’s kit.
OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER
Solskjaer will always be a United legend with his 93rd-minute goal in the 1999 Champions League final, marking a historic Treble anniversary for Sir Alex’s men.
His status as a hero will never change, no matter how people judge his time as a manager.
The Norwegian’s final years at United suffered injuries, but he scored 127 goals for the club between 1996 and 2007 – nothing was more precious than that late strike at Barcelona.
And until early November, he could be found in Old Trafford’s technical area after taking over as manager in 2018 – but was sacked after a horrific game that ended with 4-1 defeat to Watford.
A little-known member of the Class of 92 Butt, like Phil Neville, has decided to leave United after more than a decade in the first team to try his hand at being a key player.
He made a transfer request in January of that season, eventually securing a move to Newcastle United in the summer.
However, Butt ended his career in England in second place, after being relegated to the Magpies in 2009. Butt closed the curtain after a brief stint in Hong Kong with South China.
Butt is currently the head of first-team development at United, and co-owner of Second Division side Salford.
Keane is one of the most iconic figures to ever appear in English football.
The battle leadership is nearing its end at this point, but there are still shots to come – especially when facing Arsenal counterpart Patrick Vieira.
The Irishman ended up leaving Old Trafford under a cloud in November 2005 following a famous MUTV quote that was never broadcast. Retired after a short stint at Celtic.
Once supporting Martin O’Neill as manager of Ireland and Nottingham Forest, Keane is now often the highest rated, and often Premier League stars on Sky Sports or ITV.
Possibly the most famous player in United’s illustrious history after making an astonishing 963 appearances for the club between 1991 and 2014.
The Welshman has set records that will almost certainly never be beaten, winning 13 national championships, four FA Cups, three League Cups, two Champions Leagues … and even the Human Sportsman of the Year.
At this stage, Giggs remained an electric winger, before re-establishing his game as a deep-lying midfielder later in his career.
Once an assistant to Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford, Giggs now manages the Wales national team, but has been ordered out of action for Euro 2020 – replaced by Rob Page – following allegations of assault.
Second only to Giggs and Sir Bobby Charlton in United’s all-time top appearances, with 718 players, Scholes went on to miss England after Euro 2004, thus extending his career at Old Trafford.
His passing range became legendary as he got older, and he even retired in January 2012 to play another 18 months – winning one more championship before calling it a day. actually in 2013.
Having briefly managed childhood club Oldham Athletic in 2019, while he is also a co-owner of Salford. Scholes works as a pundit for BT Sport.
RUUD VALVE NISTELROOY
During his five years at Old Trafford, Van Nistelrooy has become one of the most powerful goalscorers English football has ever seen.
A clinical penalty box poacher, the Dutchman has scored 150 goals in just 219 games for Manchester United.
Eyebrows were raised when he was allowed to join Real Madrid in 2006, for whom he scored 64 goals in 96 games, but Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney were allowed to shine brighter after his departure. .
He then played with Ronaldo again for a year in Madrid, before being sold to Hamburg.
The 45-year-old is currently coaching PSV’s U19 team.
After CR7 was introduced in the 61st minute, Ferguson had to turn two more times to the bench.
Eric Djemba-Djemba came on six minutes later but he failed to make an impact at Old Trafford – leaving in January 2005 and going on to represent Aston Villa and Burnley in England before moving abroad.
He returned to these shores only once briefly, appearing three times for St Mirren in 2014 – most recently he has played for the Swiss fifth division side FC Vallorbe-Ballaigues.
United’s other replacement that day was Diego Forlan, a ‘what if?’ man at Old Trafford.
The slick long-haired goalscorer wasn’t quite as brilliant at United, but proved he was a brilliant player later in his career with Villarreal, Atletico Madrid and Uruguay.
Like Butt, Forlan also ended his career in the Hong Kong Premier League, scoring five goals in eight games for Kitchee in 2018, finally retiring a year later.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/premier-league/691416/cristiano-ronaldo-man-utd-debut-team-mates/ Cristiano Ronaldo’s Man Utd teammates from his 2003 debut include Djemba-Djemba & Fortune… but where are they? – US Sun