Cristiano Ronaldo's Dressing Room Introduction At Manchester United Was Iconic
The story of Cristiano Ronaldo's introduction to the Premier League is pretty well known after his debut against Bolton but his introduction to the dressing room was even better.
It was a tense affair on August 16th 2003, Manchester United held a narrow one-goal advantage against bogey side Bolton with just 29 minutes remaining and Sir Alex Ferguson searched for inspiration.
He looked towards the substitutes bench, chewing his gum with a little more force than usual, and a £12.2million midweek arrival from Sporting Lisbon stared back at him with purpose.
From that day onward, a star was born. Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro's debut against Manchester United 10 days previous to his Old Trafford bow was the start of his unbelievable journey to the top.
This 18-year-old introduced himself like no other and his dressing room introduction before his iconic debut at Old Trafford sums him up perfectly.
Former teammate Quinton Fortune has detailed the moment CR7 walked into the Manchester United dressing room for the very first time.
"Ronaldo came with so much confidence, it was unbelievable. He walked in the changing room and basically told everyone he's the best. Not in perfect English but you could make it out." he said in an interview with The Guardian.
"That set him above all the young players and he could back it up with his work ethic and ability.
"Even at that age he wanted to be better at everything. If you did something in training he'd practise and come back and do it."
From a skinny, gangly teenager with Spaghetti-like string running through his hair to the almost machine-like centre-forward we hail on a weekly basis at new club Juventus.
It has been a remarkable journey for the Madeira-born Ronaldo and his first days at United will always stick with the former Real Madrid forward.
"The first game I played against Manchester United was an unbelievable game, the perfect night." Ronaldo reminisced during the launch of his new range of CR7 boot.
"When I listened after the game some of my team-mates said 'listen, you are going to go to Manchester, trust me. Sir Alex Ferguson is there and wants to speak with you. So I went to the dressing room and he introduced me to the players, which for me was a little bit fun because I was a little shy.
"Alex Ferguson then said to me 'I want you now'. Everything came so fast and two days later I spoke to the coach and they took me to England.
"Then I was in Manchester and I signed."