Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed a "perfect night" led to him signing for Manchester United in 2003. Ronaldo, now 31, joined the Red Devils after a stunning performance for Sporting Lisbon during a pre-season friendly against Sir Alex Ferguson's side to mark the opening of the Estadio Jose Alvalade.
The then-teenager's display convinced United legendary boss to sign the winger before the start of the 2003/04 campaign. Ronaldo revealed Sir Alex convinced him to join United straight after the match and he moved to Old Trafford just five days later.
"The first game that I played against Manchester United was an unbelievable game," the ex-United star told Sky Sports. "It was the perfect night, the perfect night. After the game some of my teammates said: 'Listen, you're going to go to Manchester, trust me!'"
Ronaldo explained how Sir Alex introduced him to United's star-studded squad in the away dressing room, admitting he was nervous about meeting some of the team. "Sir Alex Ferguson was there, and [they said] he wants to speak with you. I go to the dressing room, he introduced me to the players," Ronaldo recalled of his first dealings with the United boss.
"For me, I was a little bit shy. And Sir Alex Ferguson said to me: 'Listen, I want you now.' Everything came so fast, and two days after I speak to the coach and they take me to England, and I was in Manchester, and I signed."
Ronaldo spent six trophy-laden seasons at Old Trafford, during which time he won the coveted Ballon d'Or award and the Champions League. However, he moved from the Premier League club to Spanish giants Real Madrid in 2009, winning two further Champions League titles at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Ronaldo signed a new five-year contract at Real earlier this week, keeping him at the Spanish club until 2021. Upon signing the deal, Ronaldo revealed his intention is to retire at Real and continue his career for another decade. "I want to stay here and finish here. It is not my last contract, I want to keep going until I'm 41," Ronaldo said.