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On August 6, 2003 an injured Gary Neville was at home watching his Manchester United team-mates playing against Sporting Lisbon in a televised pre-season friendly. The oppositions 18-year-old left winger quickly caught his eye... It was the first time Id seen Cristiano Ronaldo play.He was up against John OShea, who was obviously a good defender; he was strong, he was quick and he knew where to position himself. Sheasy was playing in the position I would normally play - right-back - but I was injured and I was watching the game at home on MUTV.Like Sheasy, Im very aware of how difficult it is to play against certain types of movement. I specifically remember Cristiano making a certain move where he cut inside and ran between OShea and our centre-half. He made this double movement and I remember thinking oh my God. Ronaldo agrees new deal Cristiano Ronaldo agrees new deal with Real Madrid until 2021 Obviously you could see the skill he had on the ball and his natural talent, but these days what you see less and less is players who make runs without the ball in between the full-back and the centre-back. I would say thats possibly the most underrated run of all.Its so difficult for the full-back and centre-back to defend against, as the full-back doesnt know when to pass over the attacker to the centre-back or play offside. The centre-back then could have a decision to make whether to leave him or track the runner. Its a really difficult issue, especially when the ball is in a central area.I remember watching Cristiano make that run between the full-back and centre-back and thinking wow, you dont normally see that from experienced players, never mind a young kid. As Cristiano Ronaldo prepares to face Sporting in the Champions League, we recall the 2003 friendly against Manchester United in the same stadium What a player, I thought. After the match I remember sending a text to my brother, saying we need to sign him and apparently there was a lot of talk about him on the coach after the game.Obviously players should never be involved in signings, but he certainly made everyone sit up and take notice. Id never heard of him and Id never seen him before that night, but there was a huge excitement among the players afterwards.The only other opposition player Ive felt like that about was Louis Saha. I remember playing against him as a centre-back when he was at Fulham and he destroyed me three seasons on the bounce. I was devastated when I had to play against him and I thought weve got to sign him.He was clearly a different type of player to Cristiano, but we spoke about him in the dressing room in the same way. After that game against Sporting Lisbon, there was a great admiration and there was no doubt the players were all talking about Cristiano. Ronaldo scored a 38th hat-trick for Real Madrid as they won 4-1 at Alaves What we didnt realise is that the manager had been dealing with it for a period of time before then. Sir Alex Ferguson signed him shortly afterwards. Cristiano was very raw when he first came to the club; he had a lot of growing up to do and like all young players he needed time to develop.It took a few years for his body to fill out and he needed time to get his decision-making right but you would expect that from a young player. And over two-and-a-half years he became a devastating player, improving himself both physically and mentally.For me, it felt like he matured and became a man after the 2006 World Cup. After that tournament he became a completely different player. Sir Alex greets Cristiano at Man Utds training ground Suddenly he knew when to pass, where to pass and he knew when and where to run. It all seemed to come together at once. That was the time he was getting criticised the most by fans in this country after his famous wink at Wayne Rooney, but I would never criticise him for that. I always felt all was fair in love and war when it comes to the football pitch. As long as it was legal and you were acting within the rules of the game, then a player should try to gain all competitive advantages possible to try and win. Ronaldo tells the story of the time he dazzled Man Utd and Sir Alex Ferguson while playing for Sporting Lisbon in 2003 Ive always said that Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Roy Keane were the three great players I played with over a long period, but for three years from 2006 to 2009, Ronaldo set a standard you can only dream about. It was a magical time when he was playing with Rooney and Carlos Tevez; Ive never seen anything like it. It was amazing to watch and he was the pinnacle of it.After leaving United, he has gone on to become the best player in the world - and I think thats been proven by the Ballon DOr wins.There has long been an argument over who the best player is - Ronaldo or Lionel Messi - and in my mind weve been blessed to have both. I would always favour Cristiano because I played with him, but its almost unfair to say that because both are sensational players. Ballon dOr explainer With FIFA launching their own award, we explain the latest on the Ballon dOr But Ill never forget that game against Sporting Lisbon and the chat among the players when they got back to Manchester. Poor Sheasy was the butt of a lot of jokes for being given a run-around.But I have to be honest, I felt for him. If Id been playing that night hed have done the same to me.Watch #CR7Live tomorrow at 1pm on SkySports.com, Sky Sports Facebook page and on the Soccer AM You Tube Channel. Also See: What Utd saw in Ronaldo Ronaldo agrees new deal Avonte Maddox Eagles Jersey .Impact president Joey Saputo confirmed Thursday that he is part of a group of investors whose offer to buy the 105-year-old Italian club was accepted by the teams board of directors. Mike Wallace Eagles Jersey . First, Ivan Nova decided to have season-ending Tommy John elbow surgery. Then Michael Pineda was suspended for 10 games for using pine tar. http://www.eaglesrookiestore.com/Eagles ... ta-Jersey/ . scored 18 of his career- high 28 points in the first half, as fifth-ranked Ohio State dominated No. Josh Sweat Jersey . -- Canadian womens amateur golf champion Brooke Henderson is a little less starstruck as she prepares for her second career appearance at an LPGA Tour major event. Dallas Goedert Eagles Jersey .4 seconds left and dribbled up court, weaving through Pitts defence.SUNRISE, Fla. - The Minnesota Wild started fast and finished strong.Jason Zucker scored two goals to lead the Wild over the Florida Panthers 4-1 on Monday night.Nino Niederreiter also scored for the Wild, and Mikko Koivu had two assists. Zach Parise added an empty-net goal with 1:29 left.Minnesota scored two first-period goals, then held off a late surge by the Panthers to win for the fifth time in six games and end a three-game road trip with four points.Real pleased with the battle level right from the start; guys were very engaged in it, Wild coach Mike Yeo said. For a good part of the game, our game looked the way it was supposed to look.Niklas Backstrom, making his sixth start of the season, stopped 29 shots, including 16 in the third period.We played a solid team game and started really well, Backstrom said. It was a solid 60 minutes and a good team game.Shawn Thornton scored for the Panthers, and Roberto Luongo made 35 saves.Minnesota took a 2-0 lead in the first period and outshot the Panthers 13-5.Zuckers first goal put the Wild ahead on their second shot of the game. Zucker took a pass from Koivu in the right circle, and his soft slap shot got under Luongos pads at 5:58.The Wild went up 2-0 when Niederreiter grabbed a loose puck in the neutral zone after it got away from a Panthers player and put the puck high into the net with 2:17 left in the first. Niederreiter leads the Wild with 10 goals and has six in his past six games.I was surprised the puck went there (the neutral zone), Niederreiter said. I tried to take my backhand and it worked out.Luongo was coming off a sseason-high 48 saves in a 3-2 overtime loss at Nashville last Saturday.dddddddddddd.Obviously, not the start we wanted, Luongo said. I thought I could have been better on the first two goals. They both went right through me; not the type of goals I would like to allow.Florida closed to 2-1 on Thorntons goal at 5:34 of the second. Thornton redirected a shot by Dmitry Kulikov past Backstrom. Referee Ghislain Hebert initially ruled it no goal because of a high stick, but the goal was awarded after a video review. It was Thorntons first of the season and first with the Panthers.The Wild stretched their lead to 3-1 on Zuckers second goal with 2:41 left in the second period. Zucker moved the puck in front and backhanded it off the post and into the net for his second multigoal game of the season.I just tried to get the puck on net, thats all that was, Zucker said. A lot of our mindset is just to shoot the puck and getting chances.The Panthers played their first home game after a four-game road trip, including three games on the West Coast, where they managed five points.Theres no excuses, Luongo said. We were just not ready to play from the start of the game. We cant spot the other team two goals and expect to come back every night. Thats not how this league works.NOTES: The Wild have won four of five and 11 of their last 14 against the Panthers, taking six of the past eight played in Florida. ... Niederreiter has 10 goals and three assists in the past 15 games. ... Panthers forward Sean Bergenheim returned to the lineup after missing 10 games with a lower-body injury. Wholesale Spain Jerseys Cheap Juventus Jersey Cheap Cristiano Ronaldo Jersey Wholesale AC Milan Jerseys Cheap Arsenal Jerseys Cheap A.S. Roma Jerseys Cheap Atletico Madrid Jerseys Cheap Chelsea Jerseys Cheap Barcelona Jerseys Cheap Bayern Munich Jerseys Cheap Borussia Dortmund Jerseys Cheap Inter Milan Jerseys Cheap Juventus Jerseys Cheap Leicester City Jerseys Cheap Liverpool Jerseys Cheap Manchester City Jerseys Cheap Manchester United Jerseys Cheap Paris Saint-Germain Jerseys Cheap Real Madrid Jerseys Cheap Sevilla Jerseys Cheap Tottenham Hotspur Jerseys ' ' '
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