How does Cristiano Ronaldo usually start life at a new club?

Cristiano Ronaldo made a blistering start at Real Madrid but needed longer to get going at Juventus… Man United are desperate for him to hit the ground running, so how does he usually start life at a new club?

  • Cristiano Ronaldo could make his second Man United debut against Newcastle
  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be hoping the forward will hit the ground running 
  • Ronaldo made a blistering start to life at Real Madrid in the 2018-2019 season
  • Sportsmail takes a look at how the Portugal star usually begins life at a new club 

Cristiano Ronaldo could make his eagerly-awaited Manchester United return against Newcastle on Saturday, in what will be his fifth debut for a new club (and his second for United).

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be hoping the 36-year-old gets off to a flying start, with the Red Devils looking to maintain their unbeaten start to the season.

Ronaldo has a reasonable run of fixtures to kick-start his second spell at Old Trafford before things start to get a bit tougher in October. 


Cristiano Ronaldo could make his eagerly awaited Manchester United return against Newcastle on Saturday

United face a winless Magpies side after international break and will be heavy favourites to take all three points. That’s followed by a Champions League group game against Swiss side Young Boys, which United will also be expected to win comfortably.

The trip to West Ham on September 19 will not be easy but David Moyes’ side have shipped five goals in their first three games and Ronaldo will fancy his chances of getting some joy against their defenders.  

Solskjaer’s side then face the Hammers again in the Carabao Cup, Aston Villa in the league and Villarreal in Europe before hosting Everton at Old Trafford on October 2. 

The run of fixtures after October’s international break look seemingly tougher. 

It’s Leicester away on October 16, then Atalanta and Liverpool at home in the space of four days. After facing Jurgen Klopp’s side, it’s Tottenham away, then Atalanta again before a Manchester derby at home.

Ronaldo will be hoping to build up some form before United’s tough run of fixtures next month. But how does the Portugal captain usually start life at a new club? 

Sporting Lisbon (2002-2003) 

Not strictly a ‘new’ club as Ronaldo started his career here, but it’s worth looking at how he burst onto the scene in Portugal.

Ronaldo was promoted to Sporting’s first team at the age of 16 before making his Primeira Liga debut in a 4-2 defeat by Braga a year later.

The forward made his first start in the following game against Moreirense and it was a day to remember with two goals and a 3-0 victory.

He scored an 88th minute winner against Boavista two weeks later but would not score again for the rest of the season, ending the campaign with five goals and five assists.

Ronaldo scored two goals in his first Primeira Liga start for Sporting Lisbon in 2002

Manchester United (2003-2004) 

After Sir Alex Ferguson moved quickly to beat Arsenal and Liverpool to the signing of Ronaldo, the Portuguese was thrown straight into the first team for the 2003-2004 season. 

Fans instantly took to the pacy, skilful winger and he showed the potential he had right at the beginning of his United career.

However, it took Ronaldo until his ninth Premier League game to make his first significant contributions – a goal and assist in a 3-0 win over Portsmouth.

He scored his first goal for Man United in a 3-0 victory over Portsmouth in his ninth game

As he began to settle into a new team and new country, Ronaldo’s performances grew as the season went on and he was particularly important in United’s FA Cup run with two goals and four assists.

One of those goals came in the final against Millwall, which United won 3-0. Ronaldo finished the season with six goals and nine assists in all competitions. 

United didn’t win the title but Ronaldo would go on to pick up three Premier League winners medals as well as the Champions League, two League Cups, a Community Shield and the FIFA Club World Cup at Old Trafford.

Real Madrid (2009-2010)

Expectations were high when Ronaldo became Real Madrid’s latest Galactico in 2018 – and his new fans were not disappointed.

Five goals in his first four LaLiga games saw him make a blistering start to life at the Bernabeu, with Real winning all of their opening five games.

However, an ankle injury briefly interrupted Ronaldo’s campaign and Real lost their first game without him.

Ronaldo’s longest run without scoring in the league that season was three games and he ended the campaign with 26 goals.

He also netted seven times in the Champions League and managed 11 assists in all competitions.

The forward and Real ended the season without a trophy but 2009-2010 was Ronaldo’s best goal-scoring return in a debut campaign.

Five goals in his first four LaLiga games saw him make a blistering start to life at Real Madrid

Juventus (2018-2019)

There would be no debut goal in Serie A for Ronaldo in 2018, with the forward having to wait until his fourth game to find the back of the net (twice) against Sassuolo.

It was an important contribution, with Ronaldo’s two goals helping the Serie A giants to a 2-1 victory.

Ronaldo soon came to life in Turin with seven goals and four assists in his first 10 games and it became clear Juve were going to win the title at a canter.

The club didn’t lose a game until March and were defeated just three times all season.

Ronaldo ended his first campaign in Italy with 21 goals in Serie A and 28 in all competitions. He also managed 11 assists.

Juve won Serie A and the Supercoppa Italiana but failed to win the Coppa Italia or progress beyond the quarter-finals of the Champions League. 

Ronaldo had to wait until his fourth game to get his first goal for Juventus but ended the season with the Serie A title and the Supercoppa Italia as he netted 28 times in all competitions




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