FA Cup final win over Millwall – he was named Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year.
His second term didn’t quite live up to his first, but late season form saw him end 2004/05 with nine goals in 50 appearances. In 2005/06 Ronny again reserved his best form for the latter stages, but the inconsistencies of a developing young player were being ironed out. He departed, full of hope and with great expectations, for the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany - what turned out to be a truly defining moment in his career. In the quarter finals, Portugal met England and, after Wayne Rooney’s sending off, Ronaldo became the pantomime villain for the
English press. Some doubted he would return to Manchester. But Sir Alex assured him any ill-feeling would blow over. It’d happened with Eric Cantona and David Beckham. Ronaldo met the inevitable boos with the best football of his life.
United’s title success in 2006/2007 was a team effort, but one man took the lead role in every major plotline. It began with the barnstorming 5-1 win over Fulham – Ronaldo and Rooney ran the show and publicly banished claims they were at odds. Dazzling wing-play was backed with regular assists and crucial goals. His form that season brought a glut of individual accolades and, despite interest from other