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Five Cristiano Ronaldo rockets on anniversary of his Man Utd move

On this day in 2003, Manchester United made arguably their most important signing ever, after capturing a certain young Portuguese winger by the name of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Since arriving at Old Trafford 12 years ago for £12.24m, Ronaldo went on to lift three Premier League titles, an FA Cup and a famous 2008 Champions League trophy, before eventually departing for Real Madrid in 2009.

On the anniversary of his switch to United, here are five of the best strikes for his former employers, before Los Blancos came calling.

Portsmouth 2003
Early in his Red Devils career, Ronaldo showed plenty of promise, especially from set-pieces, after inheriting the famous number seven shirt which David Beckham had successfully enjoyed wearing before him.

This curling free-kick from the wide left kicked-off the future Portugal superstar’s freeflowing career in red, going on to net 84 top-flight goals.

Current United boss Louis van Gaal reportedly tried to lure Ronaldo back to the club this summer, but he looks set to do without the Madrid marksman this term, with the Red Devils 5/1 with Coral for a title triumph.

See Ronaldo’s first ever United goal right here, a free-kick which started him on the path towards sporting greatness.

Sunderland 2007
A typically sublime free-kick again from Ronaldo, this time against Sunderland, as he dispatches the ball clinically into the roof of the net, giving the Black Cats stopper no chance at all.

Relive that magical Ronaldo effort against the Wearside outfit right here.

Everton 2008
In a league encounter with Everton, Ronaldo picked up the ball on the edge of the Toffees’ penalty area, switched it on to his apparent weaker left foot then unleashed an incredibly powerful effort which sailed into the top corner.

Watch that amazing strike against the men from Merseyside.

Portsmouth 2008
Premier League goalkeepers became sick of the sight of Ronaldo’s trademark free-kick routine, which more often than not ended up in the back of their net.

David James was on the receiving end of several Ronaldo rockets, but none better than this spectacular strike against Portsmouth, with the Portuguese genius sensationally finding the top corner.

Porto 2009
Before departing Old Trafford in the summer of 2009, after Sir Alex Ferguson had persuaded his star man to remain for one more season, Ronaldo ferociously fired in an unstoppable thunderbolt against Porto.

Undoubtedly one of the Portugal international’s best ever club goals, and made even more enjoyable as he is a product of Porto’s bitter rivals Sporting Lisbon.

The current Madrid marksman will be hoping to emulate these brilliant goals in Europe this term, with the Galacticos 5/1 to lift the Champions League trophy this season.

Watch as Ronaldo silences the Portuguese crowd with a mesmerising long-range effort on the way to an eventual Champions League final defeat to Barcelona.