Manchester United

Sir Alex reveals that Ronaldo's 'bloody fantastic' debut gave him a headache

Arjun Singh Devgan
Cristiano Ronaldo impressed on his Manchester United debut in 2003
Cristiano Ronaldo impressed on his Manchester United debut in 2003 / ADRIAN DENNIS/GettyImages

Legendary Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson has opened up footballing superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo's debut for the Red Devils and that the "bloody fantastic" performance gave him a major headache going forward.

United signed Ronaldo from Sporting Lisbon in the 2003 at the age of 18, with the Portugal youngster not intended to be a first-team regular for the 2003/04 season. However his brilliant 30-minute cameo from the bench against Bolton Wanderers on debut wowed audiences, and took Sir Alex by surprise, which only gave him a further selection headache.

"I always remember, that when we had the discussion [about Ronaldo signing for United], I think the thing I wanted to impress on his agent, in particular, [was that] he won't play every game. But if he's so good, I can't stop him, [because] you always play your best players," he told United's club website.

"The opening game of the season, he was substitute. He came on and he was absolutely bloody fantastic. The crowd was magnificent; the crowd loved it. So here we had a situation: do I play him the next game or do I put him back on the bench? That was a big problem, that, you know?!"

The then winger went on to score six goals and register nine assists in 40 appearances in all competitions that season and that was only the start as he went on to become one of their greatest players before eventually leaving the club for Real Madrid in 2009.