Where Are Ronaldo’s Teammates On The Day He Debuted MU?

Goalkeeper: Tim Howard


Howard made his Manchester United debut on the same day as Ronaldo. However, while the Portuguese became a club icon, Howard lasted just three hit-and-miss seasons before being shipped off to Everton.

On Merseyside, the American keeper fared far better, making 414 appearances in 10 seasons (he even scored once), before ending his playing days in his home country, first in the MLS with the Colorado Rapids, then with Memphis 901, the USL Championship side he co-owns.

Defender: Phil Neville


After moving to Everton in 2005 and retiring eight years later, Neville first enjoyed several coaching roles with England’s youth teams and Manchester United. 

He was then appointed as manager of the England women’s national team in January 2018. Neville guided the team to the 2019 World Cup semifinal, where they lost to the USWNT in a game made famous by Alex Morgan’s tea-sipping celebration.

After almost exactly three years as Lionesses boss, he left the role in January to become the manager of MLS side Inter Miami.

Defender: Rio Ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand. 

Ferdinand told Goal in 2019 that he believed Ronaldo left United in 2009 “as the best player in the world.”

Well, the Englishman didn’t do too badly himself at Old Trafford either, winning six Premier League titles and being named in the PFA Team of the Year six times in 12 seasons. 

Ferdinand left United in 2014 for Queens Parks Rangers, where he played for just one year before retiring.

He’s now a regular on BT Sport, has his own fashion label, and in 2018, even tried to make a foray into professional boxing but was denied a license by the British Boxing Board of Control.

Defender: Mikael Silvestre


Silvestre spent nine seasons at Old Trafford before leaving for Arsenal in 2008. After two years in London, the Frenchman moved to Germany with Werder Bremen, then later to MLS side Portland Timbers.

He ended his career at Indian Super League outfit Chennai in 2014.

One of the more unique post-football careers of Ronaldo’s former teammates, Silvestre, has founded his own rum drinks brand, Rhum St Barth.

Defender: Quinton Fortune


A versatile utility player for United, Fortune left Old Trafford for Bolton Wanderers at the end of the 2006/07 season. 

The South African spent just one year with The Trotters before seeing out the remainder of his playing days with spells at Brescia, Tuzibe, and Doncaster Rovers before retiring in 2010.

Fortune is now the first-team coach at Championship team Reading.

Midfielder: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer


No need to guess where Solskjaer is these days.

Currently the manager of Manchester United, the “baby-faced assassin” helped the Red Devils to a second placed finish in the Premier League last season.

With Ronaldo now back at Old Trafford, he’s hoping to go one step further this term.

“He is going to make us a better team,” the United boss said of Ronaldo. “He is a great player, a great human being.

“I’m excited to keep building this squad. He will bring something completely different. Hopefully Cristiano can come in and show what he has done in his career.”

Midfielder: Roy Keane


One of United’s most revered ever players, Keane gained adoration from the club’s fans for his never-say-die attitude, hard tackling, and no-nonsense leadership style.

Since retiring in 2006, Keane has had managerial roles with Sunderland, Ipswich, and the Republic of Ireland. He has recently moved into the world of broadcast, where he has gained himself a new wave of fans for his equally ruthless punditry. 

Midfielder: Nicky Butt

Nicky Butt

The man who Ronaldo replaced for his United debut, Butt, left Old Trafford for Newcastle United at the end of the same season.

He spent six seasons at St James’ Park — one of which was on-loan at Birmingham City — before ending his career at Hong Kong First Division club South China in 2011.

As well as being the Head of First-team Development at United, Butt is now also co-owner of Salford City alongside the Neville brothers, Gary and Phil, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, and David Beckham.

Midfielder: Paul Scholes


Scholes played for United for another decade after Ronaldo’s debut before retiring in 2013 as one of the club’s most decorated ever players.

In 20 seasons at Old Trafford, the Englishman won 25 major trophies, including 11 Premier League titles and two Champions League.  

Another Salford co-owner, Scholes, has since dabbled in management and punditry. 

LM: Ryan Giggs


Giggs made his United debut 13 years before Ronaldo and stayed with the club right up until his retirement in 2014.

He finished his playing career as United’s highest ever appearance maker, having played for the Red Devils 963 times in 24 years.

During his final season at Old Trafford, Giggs was briefly appointed as player-manager following David Moyes’ sacking, before assuming the role of assistant manager to Louis Van Gaal for the next two years.

He is currently the manager of Wales national team, however the position is temporarily being filled by Rob Page after Giggs was charged with allegedly assaulting his ex-partner.

Striker: Ruud van Nistelrooy

Van Nistelrooy

“Teammate” may be the wrong term for Van Nistelrooy when it comes to Ronaldo.

According to the book of former Labour communications chief Alastair Campbell, a good friend of Sir Alex Ferguson, the Dutch striker upset Ronaldo during a 2005 training session by making a below the belt comment about his recently deceased father. 

Van Nistelrooy left United a year later, enjoying spells at Real Madrid, Hamburg, and Malaga, before moving into coaching.

He is currently the manager of the under-19 side at Dutch side PSV Eindhoven.

Substitute midfielder: Eric Djemba-Djemba


Djemba-Djemba was often ridiculed during his time at United as one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s worst ever signings.

Failed spells at Aston Villa and Burnley followed after he left Old Trafford in 2005, before he spent the rest of his career country-hopping, playing in Qatar, Israel, and India, among other places. 

According to The Sun, the 39-year-old was still playing last year, albeit in the Swiss fifth tier for amateur side FC Vallorbe-Ballaigues.

Substitute striker: Diego Forlan


A major disappointment at Old Trafford – Forlan went on to establish himself as one of the world’s best strikers in the years following his 2004 departure, scoring 165 goals in for seven seasons in Spain with Villarreal Atletico Madrid. 

Spells in Italy, India, and Hong Kong followed before he retired in 2019 and was appointed manager of his boyhood club Penarol.

However, his return home didn’t last long with the Uruguayan lasting just 11 games before he was sacked.


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