Cristiano Ronaldo's best Manchester United moments

Finally, the day that Manchester United fans have been dreaming about for years has arrived - Cristiano Ronaldo is re-joining the club he left as a legend back in 2009.

During his first six-year spell with the Red Devils, Ronaldo developed from a hot prospect into a truly dominant global superstar - so good in fact that Real Madrid splashed £80m to take him to the Santiago Bernabeu (that was a lot of football money in those days!)

There were hundreds of magic moments during Ronaldo's stint at United but there's a few pearlers that standout from the crowd...

1. 2004 FA Cup final

Cristiano Ronaldo did not have to wait long to lift his first piece of silverware in England.

After a promising debut campaign for Ronaldo, he was handed a start in the 2004 FA Cup final. United's opponents at the Millennium Stadium were second-tier Millwall and Ronaldo's gulf in class was evident.

He ensured Lions defender Robbie Ryan had a torrid time, also nodding home at the back post to get his side up and running. They went on to win comfortably 3-0.

2. League Cup glory

After a trophyless 2004/05 campaign Ronaldo returned with a vengeance the following season, playing a vital role as United won the League Cup.

United eased to victory in the 2006 final, thrashing Wigan Athletic 4-0. Ronaldo scored again, of course, netting his side's third goal on the hour mark before being substituted.

His combinations with the overlapping Gary Neville was typical of the sort of stuff he produced all season.

3. Breakout 2006/07 season

Ronaldo began to develop swiftly in 2006 | AFP/Getty Images/Getty Images

Ronaldo was riding the crest of a wave during the League Cup final with the 2006/07 season representing his first truly elite campaign.

He finished with 17 goals and 16 assists in the Premier League, scooping both the PFA Player and Young Player of the Year awards.

4. Hat-trick hero

It may surprise you to learn that Ronaldo only scored one hat-trick during his time in the Premier League.

He managed the feat in a 5-0 win against Newcastle in 2008. His first was a low free kick which sneaked through the wall, while the second was a calm finish following a free-flowing counter-attack.

His third was the pick of the bunch with Ronaldo leaving Cacapa on his backside with a clever feint before stroking home.

5. THAT free kick

Iconic | PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

If any one moment sums up Ronaldo's first spell at United, it's this one.

Standing over a free kick 30 yards from goal, it looked to everyone that his run-up was far too straight to have any chance of troubling David James in the Portsmouth goal.

The knuckleball free kick that followed has gone down in history - and you can watch it from 1,000 different angles here.

6. Breaking George Best's goal record

Ronaldo had fun against Bolton | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

With two months of the 2007/08 season still to play, Ronaldo notched his 32nd and 33rd goals of the campaign in a 2-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers.

Not only did his strikes secure his side three points he also sealed a personal accolade, besting George Best's record for the most goals scored from midfield for United in a single season.

Nine more goals would follow before the campaign was out...

7. 2008 Ballon d'Or

Not bad company to be in | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

In December 2008, Ronaldo was recognised for an incredible year by being awarded that year's Ballon d'Or.

It was a landslide with his closest challenger, Lionel Messi, finishing over 150 voting points behind him.

Messi would take his revenge the following year, though, with the pair hot-potatoing the award for the next decade.

8. 2008 Champions League final

The 2008 Champions League final between United and Chelsea was a rollercoaster of emotions for Ronaldo.

After a cagey opening he managed to open the scoring for his side, rising high at the back post to nod home Wes Brown's cross. On the stroke of half time Frank Lampard equalised for the Blues with the final eventually going to extra time.

Usually reliable from the spot, Ronaldo could not convert his spot kick with a slip from John Terry offering him and his side a reprieve. United would then go on to win the shootout, provoking an understandably emotional reaction from the forward.

It was the start of a passionate love affair with the Champions League trophy.

Source : 90min