Cristiano Ronaldo: Man Utd star was on a different level v West Ham in 2008

Cristiano Ronaldo’s first Premier League game back in a Manchester United shirt couldn’t have gone much better. 

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was the toast of Old Trafford before, during and after his Man of the Match performance against Newcastle, during which he grabbed two goals as part of a 4-1 victory for the Red Devils.

The Portuguese superstar was clearly relishing being back in the familiar surroundings of the Theatre of Dreams. facing an opposition he had typically enjoyed great success against previously.

United’s next Premier League assignment won’t hold the same fond memories for Ronaldo. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men travel to West Ham’s London Stadium on Sunday – a venue that wasn’t even fully built the last time CR7 played an away game in the English top-flight.

The 36-year-old star’s career record against the East London side isn’t particularly outstanding, either, with four wins and three defeats in the seven matches he’s played against them


Individually, Ronaldo has five goals and one assist to his name against the Hammers. Two of those strikes came in what has undoubtedly been his best performance against West Ham to date in May 2008.

Heading into the penultimate game of the 2007/08 season, United were still being fiercely pursued at the top of the Premier League table by nearest challengers Chelsea and Arsenal – and nothing less than three points would do as West Ham visited Old Trafford.

It took Ronaldo less than three minutes to set his side on the way to victory.

Bamboozling West Ham defender Lucas Neill with a lethal combination of quick footwork and electric pace, Ronaldo quickly left his opponent sprawled on the deck. The rest of the Hammers’ back-line weren’t any better equipped with their marauding opponent, allowing him to close menacingly in on goal before firing a deflected shot beyond a helpless Rob Green.

Ronaldo doubled United’s lead in the 24th minute – this time with a typical poachers goal. Guiding the ball home with his thigh from an Owen Hargreaves cross, the goal marked his 30th Premier League strike of the season.

It wasn’t just the Portuguese’s goalscoring that impressed during his side’s eventual 4-1 victory, as his appetite for the game is clear to see all over the pitch.

Frequently attempting audacious flicks and other tricks, Ronaldo seemed to be on a level all of his own. You can check out his highlights from the match below.



United would go on to secure the Premier League title with a victory on the final day of the campaign at Wigan – and shortly afterwards lifted the Champions League trophy after a penalty shoot-out win over Chelsea.

Ronaldo’s brilliance in 2008 was recognised when he picked up the first of his Ballon d’Or trophies. He may no longer be quite at his outrageous peak, but we doubt that any members of the West Ham defence are especially looking forward to having to deal with him this weekend.



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