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When Cristiano Ronaldo Wowed The Whole Of Europe For Manchester United

Ryan Sidle

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When Cristiano Ronaldo Wowed The Whole Of Europe For Manchester United

Cristiano Ronaldo might have failed in the Champions League this week but 14-years-ago today he impressed against the whole continent! (Kind of)

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The Juventus forward was criticised in midweek as the Old Lady were knocked out of Europe's elite competition by Porto, especially after turning his back on the tie winning free-kick.

It wasn't always so bad in Europe for the five time Ballon d'Or winner, after all he has won the competition five times, and in 2007 he had one of his most impressive performances.

Manchester United faced a Europe XI side in a 'Celebration Match,' which was a glorified friendly, to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Treaty of Rome and 50 years of United playing in European competitions, being the first English team to do so.

Whilst both teams were stacked full of talent, it was Ronaldo who stole the show, despite only playing the first half, and his personal highlights are worth watching.

Included in Ronaldo's highlights was a brilliant long range free-kick goal, as he left Santiago Canizares stuck on his line with no chance.

The United winger would repeat the trick 10 months later against David James, as Sir Alex Ferguson's side beat Portsmouth in the Premier League.

Wayne Rooney also scored twice and Wes Brown got in on the act, as United went into the break 4-1 up, with Florent Malouda the scorer for the Europe XI.

Rooney gets away from Marco Materazzi and Gennaro Gattuso. Image: PA Images
Rooney gets away from Marco Materazzi and Gennaro Gattuso. Image: PA Images

Along with Canizares and Malouda, the Europe XI, managed by Marcello Lippi, started the game with Gianluca Zambrotta, Roberto Ayala, Marco Materazzi, Eric Abidal, Mancini, Andrea Pirlo, Gennaro Gattuso, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrik Larsson.

Larsson was playing at Old Trafford just a day after his loan from Helsingborg to the English side had actually ended.

Ibrahimovic, who would of course end up playing for United, missed a penalty just after Ronaldo's penalty, after he stopped his fellow Swede taking the spot kick.

At half time Lippi made 11 substitutions, with Gregory Coupet, Ivan Campo, Dejan Stefanovic, Phillippe Christanval, Jamie Carragher, Kim Kallstrom, Steven Gerrard, Giannos Giannakopoulos, Boudewijn Zenden, Robbie Fowler and El Hadji Diouf all coming on.

It was Ronaldo though who ruled the night and the whole continent, kind of...

Topics: Football, Manchester United, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Premier League, Andrea Pirlo, Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo

Ryan Sidle
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