The players who have helped compile the list of iconic Old Trafford moments has always read like a who's who of football's pantheon of greats; Denis Law's backheel, Eric Cantona's delicate chip and David Beckham's free-kick to name but three.

The latest offering of Manchester United v Real Madrid possesses the capacity to add to that elusive list, and with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney on show, you'd be forgiven for not expecting fireworks at the Theatre of Dreams.

A decade ago, expectations were at a similarly escalated level. Madrid, with nine European Cups in toe, arrived with a squad cherry-picked from across the world; three Ballon d'Or winners along with a myriad of international, domestic and continental champions to boot. And Steve McManaman.

One man stood on the shoulder of giants that particular evening, and produced a performance which is fondly remembered by all those that witnessed it, 10 years on.

Ronaldo scored a hat-trick during a breathtaking display.

Star-studded Madrid might have been during the early years of Florentino Perez's reign as president, but all-conquering they certainly weren't. Zinedine Zidane was signed in the summer of 2001, and while the Frenchman delivered the Champions League with a swish of his un-favoured left-foot in Glasgow, the La Liga title went the way of Valencia.

Perez masterminded another fantasy football signing, bringing in Brazilian striker Ronaldo, formerly of Barcelona, to spearhead his attack. The World Cup winner took time to get into his stride, scoring just twice in his opening seven games after an injury lay-off, but by the time he touched down in Manchester in April, he'd added 20 more.

A 3-1 first leg win left Madrid susceptible to a timely United fight back, as had become the way under Sir Alex Ferguson; football's worst kept secret had often become the most difficult to safeguard against.

Accused of floundering on the big occasion, Ronaldo sought to re-write history. He produced classic strikers' instinct to smash Madrid ahead on the night, turning and spinning away from Rio Ferdinand, an act many felt his weight and long-term knee problems would prevented him from fulfilling, to latch onto a through pass from Guti, very much the undervalued asset of Vicente del Bosque's side, to rifle past Fabian Barthez.

You need only ask the diminutive goalkeeper himself that it was very much a blink and you'll miss it moment. Ronaldo merely followed the strikers handbook, but with emphatic ruthlessness.

Ruud van Nistelrooy gave United hope before the break, but Real continued to attack in waves, Zidane the focal point as ever. More sumptuous build-up play, Guti, McManaman, and Roberto Carlos all involved but Ronaldo was the beneficiary, the classic poacher's effort left United requiring four.

Ivan Helguera's ungainly own-goal drew the scores level on the night, but it only worked to hand Ronaldo the platform to complete his hat-trick. A memorable dipping, thunderous 25-yard strike which if you listen ever-so closely you can still hear nestling in Barthez's net.

A double from David Beckham handed United the win on the night, some much needed gloss on an evening where Madrid delivered a stinging reminder that their high-risk transfer policy could reap rewards.

The last deluge of spending from within the Spanish capital saw the South American's name sake swap Manchester for Madrid in 2009. Amid the records, it's evenings such as these where Cristiano Ronaldo continues to play catch-up to Lionel Messi. Whatever the result, the Portuguese winger will do well to match the heroics of 10 years ago.