Retro: Ronaldo makes Real Madrid debut

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Cristiano Ronaldo against Shamrock Rovers in 2009

On this day in 2009, Cristiano Ronaldo played in his first-ever match for Real Madrid following a then-world record move from Manchester United.

Naturally, one would think it was an instant impact for the man whose performances had intrigued Florentino Perez so much that he splashed almost 100 million euros for his signature. Yet, that was quite far from the story which unfolded that day.

Considering what ensued after donning the white jersey for the very first time, one could easily assume that Cristiano, perhaps, forgot to grab his cape and superpowers while packing his stuff out of his Old Trafford locker.

Ronaldo record transfer move
Ronaldo being unveiled at the Santiago Bernabeu after his €94 million move from Manchester United

It was a preseason game against Shamrock Rovers and recognizing Ronaldo’s and also Real Madrid’s standard, the club’s name reflected one that was conceivably prone to goal concessions. But, sadly, that wasn’t the chapter written in the history books on July 20, 2009.

There was no moment of magic from the player who had won the Ballon d’Or two seasons past. In much candor, his below-average performance on that day could be justified on the basis that his price-tag might have weighed heavily on him, aside the fact that he played on his less-favoured right wing.

In his quest to prove that he was indeed worth every single penny splashed on him, the Portuguese sensation rather ended up attracting boos and jeers from his onlookers. Despite his inability to turn up, the match ended 1:0 in favor of the Merengues. But little did his critics know that the man they were busily slamming will go on to become the club’s all-time goalscorer and, arguably, it greatest-ever player.

By the same token, nobody envisaged that Cristiano Ronaldo will fire Los Blancos to three Champions League titles and win three more Ballon d’Ors in the process. It’s been eight years since that fateful day and the iconic number 7 now counts 406 goals in 394 appearances as a Real Madrid player.

Now, where are the haters?

Cristiano Ronaldo with his 4 Ballon d'Ors
Number #5 incoming!
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Emmanuel is a very vibrant writer from Ghana. Young but not small. Humble but full of hunger to learn and confidence to achieve greater heights in the world of online journalism. Emmanuel is passionate about the Beautiful Game with special love for English giants Manchester United and their former number 7 icon, Cristiano Ronaldo. In his leisure time, he loves writing and reading practically anything; old notes, e-books, articles... you name it! The Accra native and devoted Christian also loves drawing, swimming, watching and playing football both on the field and via FIFA video games. At times, Emmanuel loves to find himself alone at the beach and in nature.

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