Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney played together at Manchester United between 2004 and 2009. Ronaldo joined retired legendary coach, Sir Alex Ferguson, at Old Trafford in 2003 from Sporting Lisbon, Portugal.
A year later, Sir Ferguson spotted Wayne Rooney two years after he was promoted from Everton football academy to the club’s senior team. The English football icon join Ronaldo at Old Trafford in 2004.
The combination of Wayne Rooney and Ronaldo won Manchester United three Premier League titles, two League Cups, FA Community Shield, one UEFA Champions League, and one FIFA Club World Cup.
In 2009, Ronaldo decided to leave Manchester United for Real Madrid for a then world record transfer fee worth €94 million. After 9 years in Madrid, the 36-year-old Portuguese forward moved to Juventus.
After three years in Italy, Ronaldo told the Italian club that he wanted to leave. To the fulfillment of the wish of most Manchester United fans, Ronaldo returned to Old Trafford.
The 36-year-old football icon signed a two-year deal with United that could keep him at the club until June 30, 2023, with an option of extension.
Ronaldo is expected to make his second Manchester United debut on Saturday, September 11, 2021, against Newcastle United. Ahead of the game, Rooney who is now the coach of the Championship side, Derby County admitted that Ronaldo is not the same player he was 12 years ago.
The England international said the Portuguese footballer’s game has changed from being a pacing dribbler to a goalscorer. Rooney went on to predict that Ronaldo could retire at Manchester United when he turns 40-year-old just like Manchester United legend, Ryan Giggs.
He said: “The last time he played here, he was more of a runner, a great dribbler, with pace and power.
“Whereas now, he’s a goalscorer. I think his game has adapted dramatically…
“His ability is obviously one thing, but then he’s also looked after himself massively… he’s still in great condition. It wouldn’t surprise me if he’s playing until he’s 40, like Ryan Giggs did, and still scoring goals.
“His teammates will have to work a little harder. But if it’s anything like last time – towards the last two years of playing with him – the team allowed him to do that because he scores your goals, and goals win you games.”