Cristiano Ronaldo transfer: lowlights of glittering career at Manchester United
Wayne Rooney. Rooney stamped on Ricardo Carvalho during England’s quarter-final penalty shoot-out defeat at 2006 World Cup finals and was dismissed. Ronaldo makes an energetic protest to referee Horacio Elizondo and then is seen winking towards the bench. Scores the winning penalty in the shoot-out to knock out England. December 2006 Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate publicly accuses Cristiano Ronaldo of diving when Mark Schwarzer made little contact and a penalty was awarded. “Ronaldo has a history of it,” said Southgate. “Our keeper has done everything to get out of the way, but the lad has gone down once again.” January 2007 Ronaldo responds to rumours linking him with a move to Real Madrid without really doing anything to dispel them. “I know about Real Madrid’s interest but I cannot speak about it. I have discussed the matter with Alex Ferguson and Carlos Queiroz and they have prohibited me from talking about Real Madrid.” March 2007 Ronaldo once again fans the flames of his increasingly tortuous transfer saga: “Everyone knows that I love Spain. I would like to play in Spain one day. However I am happy here at Manchester. If I don’t leave now, if I leave in two, three, four, five years, I would be happy. I am at a great club.” August 2007 Ronaldo is sent off for a headbutt on Portsmouth player Richard Hughes in the second match of the season after reacting to provocation. May 2008 That transfer story just won’t go away; especially when its main protagonist clearly doesn’t want it to. “I have said a thousand times that I have one dream – to play in Spain,” says Ronaldo. “Sometimes your dreams don’t come true but I dream, I still dream, and I am happy at Manchester United, but the future? Nobody knows.” June 2008 After Portugal lose 3-2 to Germany in the 2008 European Championships Ronaldo tells reporters that there is a strong possibility of him leaving United. July 2008 Fifa President Sepp Blatter says United should allow Ronaldo to leave, equating their resistance to Real’s overtures to “modern slavery”, a view Ronaldo himself concurs with. November 2008 The Portuguese is sent off for two yellow cards against Manchester City, the second when he catches the ball in mid-air after feeling he was fouled, an opinion the referee did not share. December 2008 The Ronaldo to Real rumour mill starts up again. Real director Pedro Trapote lets slip that the club have already signed Ronaldo, though they can’t officially announce it due to contractual reasons. “If you are asking me what we are going to do now then I would tell you that we have already signed the best player for the summer. The best of the best. It is Cristiano, there is no other.” December 2008 Sir Alex Ferguson responds with the quote of the season: “Do you think I’d sell a player to that mob? Absolutely no chance. I wouldn’t sell them a virus.” Though those words don’t now look as robust as they did at the time. January 2009 Ronaldo's brand new Ferrari comes off second best in a collision with a wall in a tunnel under Manchester airport. He is unhurt. March 2009 After Newcastle United’s Steven Taylor is booked for a nasty foul on Ronaldo, the pair exchange words in the tunnel at half-time. Ronaldo accuses Taylor of being a “rubbish footballer” while Taylor retorts “at least I’m not ugly”. Ladies please, play nicely. May 2009 Ronaldo throws a hissy fit after being substituted by Ferguson against Manchester City, sulking in the stands as questions over the pair’s relationship are aired. May 2009 United are outclassed by Barcelona in the Champions League final prompting Ronaldo to describe Ferguson’s tactics as “not good”. When asked if he would be leaving United this summer he added: “I don’t know”. We do now.