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Cristiano Ronaldo: Juventus star was subject of Man Utd demand from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer | Football | Sport

Cristiano Ronaldo, who has just won the Serie A player of the season award after a year at Juventus, spent six years at Manchester United earlier in his career.

The Portugal international arrived from Sporting Lisbon as David Beckham’s replacement in 2003, with the England star heading to Real Madrid that same summer.

Ronaldo experienced teething problems at Manchester United – clashing with Ruud van Nistelrooy in training and struggling for consistency – before coming on leaps and bounds.

However, had it not been for Solskjaer, the 34-year-old could have gone elsewhere.

ESPN claim that it was the current United manager, as well as Roy Keane, who pressurised Sir Alex Ferguson into signing the star.

Back in 2003, Ronaldo ran the Red Devils ragged in a pre season friendly with Sporting Lisbon.

The Portuguese team won 3-1 that day.

And Solskjaer and Keane were seemingly impressed, telling Ferguson to do his utmost to secure the forward’s signature.

The rest is history.

Ronaldo helped United end Chelsea’s dominance of the Premier League in 2007, scoring 23 goals across all competitions.

He then blitzed 42 goals the following campaign as the Red Devils won a league and Champions League double.

And, in his final season at Old Trafford, Ronaldo bagged 26 goals as United won the league and reached the Champions League final.

Meanwhile, speaking recently, United star Jesse Lingard admitted he would love Ronaldo to come back – even if that ship has most likely sailed.

He told the Mirror: “I would love [Manchester United] to sign [Cristiano] Ronaldo. He has been one of the best players in the world over the last decade.

“He has been here before so he would slot right back in.

“Growing up he was just unbelievable to watch in a United shirt.

“So on a personal note it would be amazing to play with him.”

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