It isn’t hyperbole to say that Ronaldo is one of the greatest players to have ever played the game.
Whilst Cristiano is on his way to being included in that argument, I of course mean Brazilian Ronaldo. And back in 2003 we experience first hand what he was capable of.
In the Champions League semi final that season he astounded us with a masterful hat trick before being substituted off, soaking up the applause of all 66,708 people in attendance.
In a long career filled with highs, it is a moment that has stuck with o Fenômeno as he told Gary Lineker as the two discussed the road to the Olympics for the BBC:
“Well I have incredible memories of England, I think the English fans are the most supportive in the world.
“I had a fantastic experience at Old Trafford, I scored 3 goals and the whole stadium applauded me when I was substituted.
“You can see the English fans know how to admire, respect and recognise a player that has performed well on the pitch.
“In Brazil that never happened to me, nor in Italy and in Spain it never happened.”
You can see the full interview here as he discusses Messi, Neymar and his preference between Barcelona and Real Madrid.