16 Years Ago Today, Ronaldo Scored A Hat-Trick Against Manchester United In The Champions League

So, Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima has revealed that his favourite moment in his illustrious football career came back in 2003 against Manchester United at Old Trafford in the Champions League.

Speaking to Sky Sports, the Brazilian legend said that match was a special moment for him, with him picking up a hat-trick for Real Madrid in a 4-3 defeat.

"It was the Champions League match against Manchester United at Old Trafford," he said. "It was a beautiful and open duel, and I scored three goals then. It was amazing.

"The best came when I was changed. The whole stadium said goodbye to me with a huge ovation.

"Everyone stood up, I would never expect something like that. I was surprised by this spontaneous reaction of fans, for whom I was a rival after all.

"It was a magical moment, one of the most important in my life. Football is everything to me. When I look back, I'm proud of what I've achieved in my career."

United were defeated 3-1 by Madrid in the first leg of the quarter-final, with the Red Devils hoping to secure a major comeback in the return leg at the Theatre of Dreams.

Ronaldo opened the scoring for Madrid, with former striker Ruud van Nistelrooy equalising before half-time.

However, the former Barcelona and Inter Milan star would complete his memorable hat-trick in the second half.

"The key was keeping them out -- and we simply couldn't do it," former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson said at the time (via BBC Sport).

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Luís Figo was also asked to pick between Cristiano Ronaldo or the World Cup-winning Brazilian.

"It depends, CR7 scores more with his head, but both are impressive," he told DAZN.

"As long as Cristiano Ronaldo hasn't stopped playing, I'll say that Ronaldo was number one in front of goal, but they're both players who guarantee you goals.

"The important thing is to put them in the position to score, then they do the rest..."

Is Ronaldo the best striker of all time?

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Featured Image Credit: BT Sport

Adnan Riaz

Adnan Riaz is a journalist for SPORTbible. He studied for a B.A. in History at the University of York and followed it up with an M.A. in Multimedia Journalism at MMU. Before he started writing about sports, he spent over four years in the gaming press. He has worked for several publications, including Hardcore Gamer, LADbible and the Manchester Evening News. Follow him on Twitter to find out what he is working on next. Got a story tip for Adnan? Email him: [email protected]

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