Cristiano Ronaldo rejoined Manchester United on August 27, 2021 for a reported fee of just under £13 million. He made an immediate impact, scoring twice on his second debut for the Old Trafford club.
He began his career at Andorinha, before moving to Nacional. In 1997, he transferred to Portuguese giants Sporting Clube de Portugal, where he caught the eye of Sir Alex Ferguson.
In 2003, Ferguson signed the 18-year-old for Manchester United for £12.24 million. After a slow start, when he was criticised for being a showpony, he overcame his detractors to become the most complete player in the Premiership, if not the world.
His skill at beating players, his prowess in front of goal, his strength and athleticism; all of this made him a crowd favourite. He even developed a new way of striking the dead balls; the dip and swerve he delivered made his free-kicks almost unstoppable.
In six years at the club he won one FA Cup, three Premiership titles and one Champions League. All of this persuaded Real Madrid to come knocking in the summer of 2009, handing him an €11 million a year contract and inserting a €1 billion buyout clause.
Cristiano became the world's most expensive footballer when he moved from Manchester United to Real Madrid in the summer of 2009 for £80 million (€94 million). Far from being overpriced, if anything, it now looks as if Madrid got themselves a bargain.
He was just as influential at the Bernabeu, where the Spanish fans also took him to their heart. In the 2010-11 season, he became the highest goalscorer in a season in Madrid's history with 53 goals, surpassing the previous high of 49 by the legendary Ferenc Puskas. He also became the first player to win the prestigious Golden Shoe in two different leagues.
Ronaldo won the 2013 Fifa Ballon d'Or in January. He clinched the prize for the world's best player for the second time in his career after finishing ahead of Barcelona's Leo Messi and Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery in the voting. He had finished runner-up three times in the previous four years to Messi since winning both the Ballon D'Or and Fifa World Player of the Year in 2008, before the two trophies became one.
In 2018 he left Madrid for Juventus, where he spent three years and won two Serie A titles. He returned to Manchester United in the summer of 2021.
On the international stage he led Portugal to victory in Euro 2016, inspiring his team-mates to an unlikely but deserved success.