Cristiano Ronaldo arrived at Old Trafford after a staggering 12 years and was an instant hit as he managed to smash a brace in his opening game.
After an intense drama of 24 hours, the move was finalised and there was a tidal wave of elations flowing through all the Manchester United fans.
Even though the last few Premier League outings haven’t really been the way he would have wanted them to be, especially the clash against Liverpool where United had to digest a humiliating five goals, yet Ronaldo has managed to hammer six goals from the nine games in all competitions that he has played for Manchester United so far after his return.
If there is one factor that has been bothering him this time is the lack of a quality partner. He is always used to playing with the best of players and this time Manchester United hasn’t seemed like a unit that can provide him with all the support that he would need to produce his magic.
In the wake of his devastating solitude, we will take a look at the best players in various positions who have been by his side and eked out the very best in CR7.
Goalkeeper: Iker Casillas (228 appearances)
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) May 12, 2014
Saint Iker has been one of the most prolific shot-stoppers of all time and his presence under the woodwork for Real Madrid has secured them countless moments of glory. The saves that he pulled off for Madrid and Spain were awe-inspiring, to say the least.
Casillas played for Real Madrid a staggering 700 times before shifting his allegiance to Porto. He played with Ronaldo in 228 games, the highest being a goalkeeper that was followed by Edwin van der Sar who played a whopping 167 games alongside CR7.
Defenders: John O’Shea (215 appearances), Rio Ferdinand (221 appearances), Sergio Ramos (339 appearances), Pepe (321 appearances), Marcelo (332 appearances)
Cristiano’s partners in defence are a mix of Real Madrid and Manchester United defenders. For Manchester United, the most he has played alongside is Rio Ferdinand and John O’Shea with the duo seeing 200 plus appearances for the Portuguese marksman.
Rio Ferdinand On Cristiano Ronaldo:Advertisement
"He Came As A Kid And Left As The Best Player In The World" pic.twitter.com/xcfEkgpurH
— 𝐀 𝐙 𝐇 𝐀 𝐑 . (@Azharmk16) April 23, 2021
Alongside Rio, the heart of the defence will always belong to the Spanish general, Sergio Ramos. He has shared the pitch with Ron a staggering 339 times which is the second-highest on the list. Ronaldo’s national team-mate, Pepe has also shared the field a whopping 321 times with Ronaldo and is one of the rowdiest defenders to have graced the sport ever.
The third highest appearance shared with Ronaldo is by none other than the Brazilian left-back, Marcelo who has announced his departure from Real Madrid at the end of this season. He has played a staggering 332 matches alongside Ronaldo and is one of the finest left-backs to have played the sport.
📸 If Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcelo were still playing together. pic.twitter.com/1CSOufIhTSAdvertisement
— CristianoXtra (@CristianoXtra_) October 28, 2021
Midfielders: Xabi Alonso (208 appearances), Luka Modric (222 appearances), Ryan Giggs (204 appearances)
The Spanish midfield commander, Xabi Alonso has also played a significant number of games with Ronaldo and was one of the top providers that the Portuguese talisman found next to him during his goal-scoring stints for Los Blancos.
Luka Modric is one of the finest midfielders that Real has produced over the last decade and was crucial in paving the balls for a surging Ronaldo who would pounce on anything and everything that would come his way. The duo played 222 matches together.
Actual Modrić and Ronaldo fans knows how important both are and will never slander any of them pic.twitter.com/WAgNQJBeOw
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The Welsh wizard, Ryan Giggs was one of the mentors that Ronaldo had while he played for Manchester United. Given Giggs’ proclivity to dart down that left flank, prancing and pirouetting his way past a phalanx of defenders, he eventually turned into a priceless asset for United. Alongside Ronaldo, he was a part of 204 games.
Forwards: Karim Benzema (342 appearances), Wayne Rooney (206)
If you remember Manchester United’s vicious run in 2008 that culminated into a Champions League triumph, Wayne Rooney was an important part of that Manchester United side. The attacking flair of United improved by leaps and bounds as the partnership between these two proved to be absolutely crucial and the duo literally set the stage ablaze with an extraordinary brand of football.
Are Ronaldo, Rooney and Tevez the Premier League's best ever front three? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/jCfRsT6kgQ
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 13, 2020
The most successful man alongside Ronaldo has been none other than the French striker who continues hurting defences for Real Madrid to this day is Karim Benzema. The duo partnered for a staggering 342 games and wrung out a whopping 522 goals out of it. To cap it all off, both Ronaldo and Benzema are in the top-ten-scorers-of-all-time list for the Spanish capital.
Full team of Ronaldo: Casillas, O’Shea, Ferdinand, Ramos, Marcelo, Pepe, Modric, Giggs, Xabi Alonso, Rooney, Benzema