Tag Archives: PFA Young Player of the Year

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Ten Greatest Manchester United Moments

When Real Madrid came out of the hat as Manchester United’s opponents for the last 16 of the Champions League, the minds of all United fans everywhere switched to one man, Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Portuguese skipper will return to Old Trafford for the first time since leaving the club in the summer of 2009. He will return for the second leg of the tie and will be greeted with a huge round of applause and the customary ‘Viva Ronaldo’ United chants.

In our today’s Picture Specials, we have a look at Ronaldo’s ten greatest moments during his time with the Old Trafford club…

1.  Joins United from Sporting Lisbon (July 2003)

Joins-United

2. Debut vs Bolton Wanderers (August 2003)

Debut-Bolton

3. Goal vs Milwall in the 2004 FA Cup final (May 2004)

FA-Cup-Final-Goal-Millwall

4. First Premier League title (May 2007)

First-League-Title

5. Back to back PFA and FWA awards (May 2007)

Back-2-Back-PFA

6. Stunning freekick against Portsmouth (January 2008)

Freekick-Pompey

7. Winning the Champions League final against Chelsea (May 2008)

Champions-League-Win

8. Named FIFA Player of the Year (December 2008)

Fifa-Player-Of-The-Year

9. 40-yard goal against Porto (April 2009)

Goal-Porto

10. Transferred to Real Madrid for world record fee (June 2009)

Transfered-Madrid

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Wayne Rooney – 10 Years At The Top

It was a very fitting scenario as Wayne Rooney headed back to his root to celebrate 10 years as a Premier League when Manchester United took on Everton at Goodison Park last night.

It was there where Manchester United’s no.10 made his Premier League bow as a precocious 16-year-old in a 2-2 draw with Tottenham, lasting 66 minutes and setting up Mark Pembridge for Everton’s first goal. Since his debut, Rooney has appeared 444 for his club (Everton and Manchester United combined) and has scored 199 goals. The England star has also been capped 76 times by the Three Lions and has found the back of the net 29 times.

Here, IntoTheTopCorner picks out a great moment from each of the last 10 seasons.

2002-2003 – DEBUT AND A STUNNER

Rooney announced himself on to the biggest stage with this famous last-minute strike against Arsenal, which ended the then Champions – Arsenal’s 30-match unbeaten run and made him the youngest Premier League goalscorer.  Aged just 16, it came two months after his senior debut in a 2-2 draw with Tottenham and dynamited any efforts by Everton to keep their bright talent under wraps. The secret was out and a star was born.

2003-2004 – ENGLAND DEBUT, FIRST GOAL AND FINAL SEASON

It didn’t take long for England to come calling and Sven Goran Eriksson handed Rooney, his first cap in the friendly defeat against Australia. Rooney became youngest ever player to play for England. Another record went to Rooney in the same year, as he became the youngest ever goalscorer for the Three Lions at 17 years and 317 days against Macedonia. With England’s biggest clubs chasing his signature, it would be Rooney’s last season at Everton. He scored nine goals in 2003-2004.

2004-2005 – UNITED’S NEW SIGNING AND DREAM DEBUT

In the summer of 2004, Rooney turned down a new three-year, £14,000-a-week contract with Everton and Manchester United stepped in. Rooney, 18, was on his way to Old Trafford for £25.6m, the highest fee paid for a player under 20. He had a dream debut at the Theatre of Dreams, scoring a hat-trick in a Champions League tie with Fenerbahce. United endured a poor season, finishing third in the league – their lowest ever Premier League finish – and were dumped out of Europe by AC Milan. But Rooney’s goals offered optimism for the future.

2005-2006 – FIRST SILVERWARE

Rooney finished 2004-2005 as the PFA Young Player of the Year, but the following year was largely one of disappointment as United remained a team in transition. He won his first trophy – the League Cup – after scoring twice in a 4-0 win over Wigan, but United were a long way short of Chelsea in the league and crashed out of Europe in the group stages. But despite a broken metatarsal which curtailed his season, Rooney managed an impressive 16 goals in the season.

2006-2007 – LEAGUE CHAMPION

After a disappointing World Cup in Germany, United bounced back the following season, with Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo providing the spark in another great Alex Ferguson side. He scored 14 league goals and was rewarded with a winner’s medal as United ended Chelsea’s brief spell of dominance. They were also a force in Europe, but were destined to fall just short. Rooney’s two goals in the first leg of the semi-final with Milan gave United a narrow 3-2 advantage, only for the Italians to walk the second leg 3-0.

2007-2008 – BEST IN THE WORLD

United dominated in the Premier League and the Champions League, with the partnership between Rooney and Ronaldo flourishing with almost each and every game. Rooney finished the season with 18 goals, 12 of them in the league and six in other competitions.

2008-2009 – LEAGUE CHAMPION AGAIN AND 20 GOAL MAN

United again went on to win the Premier League title in 2009, their third in a row, but a second consecutive European success was beyond them as Barcelona won the Champions League final in Rome. Rooney hit 20 goals across all competitions, including 12 in the league once more.

2009-2010 – UNITED’S MAIN MAN

This campaign was Rooney’s best yet – he scored 34 goals in all competitions, including 26 in the league and five in Europe – though United would end up with just the League Cup. He was at his brilliant best in United’s demolition of AC Milan in the Champions League second round. In the San Siro, he scored two brilliantly-placed headers as United won 3-2.Another two followed to settle the tie at Old Trafford in a 4-0 rout – a header and a great finish in a one-on-one. He also scored in the Allianz Arena against Bayern Munich in the next round but an ankle injury ruined his – and United’s – hopes of silverware.

2010-2011 – UPS AND DOWN

Rooney returned to action after a poor World Cup with England and stunned the football world in October by saying he wanted to leave United. After a lot of negotiations and compromises, the club persuaded him to sign a new five-year contract on significantly better wages. His future assured, Rooney finally settled into the season – his goals guiding United to a 19th title and the Champions League final, where they were again second best to Barcelona. Arguably the greatest Rooney moment came with a bicycle kick against Manchester City, a goal that won the Best Goal of 20 Season Award.

2011-2012 – AT THE PEAK

Rooney started the season as he wanted to, with a goal on the opening day. It was the first of 27 in the Premier League and 35 in all as he discovered the finest form of his career. In a blistering start to the season, United were goal crazy and Rooney was exceptional in the 8-2 win against Arsenal, scoring two free-kicks and a penalty. But the season didn’t go his own way – United failed to win a trophy and went through the trauma of City snatching the title with the last kick of the season.

PFA Young Player of the Year Nominees

It’s awards night today!! The PFA Player of the Year and PFA Young Player of the Year will be announced tonight and so Into The Top Corner has a look at the nominees for both awards. 

Sergio Aguero

Following his £38 million switch from Atletico Madrid last summer, the Argentine did not take long to adapt to his new surroundings, scoring twice on his Premier League debut against Swansea City before grabbing his first hat-trick in English football just two games later against Wigan. Much like team-mate David Silva, the 23-year-old may not have been as prolific throughout the winter months, but has returned to form of late, scoring seven goals in his last five games.

Gareth Bale

The current holder of the PFA Player of the Year award has already surpassed his return of seven goals from last season with 10 in the current campaign, as well as contributing eight assists in a Tottenham side which briefly threatened to challenge for the title. While Spurs have gone off the boil dramatically in recent weeks, the Welshman has continued to threaten, and if the north London club do fail to qualify for the Champions League, the 22-year-old will be top of the list of summer targets for a host of Europe’s elite.

Kyle Walker

The 21-year-old has firmly established his place in Tottenham’s starting XI this season with a series of impressive performances at right-back, with his overlapping runs from deep proving a key weapon in his side’s attacking style. The ex-Sheffield United man’s form even forced Vedran Corluka to move to pastures new in search of first-team football, while Walker has also made the step up to the England senior set-up with appearances in friendlies against Sweden and Spain back in November.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Having made just 13 league appearances this season, with eight of those coming as a substitute, the 18-year-old is somewhat of a surprise inclusion in this year’s PFA nominations but has nonetheless looked impressive whenever he has featured for Arsenal. The wideman’s promising displays have often led to calls for him to replace fellow former Southampton man Theo Walcott in the Gunners starting XI, with Oxlade-Chamberlain also opening his league account with a double in February’s 7-1 rout of Blackburn.

Daniel Sturridge

The 22-year-old has managed to transfer his goalscoring exploits from last year’s loan spell at Bolton Wanderers back to parent club Chelsea this season, despite being deployed in a wide position which the striker has regularly noted his displeasure at. Although he has not featured in his favoured role, Sturridge is the only Chelsea forward to reach double figures in the Premier League this season, and is also likely to be handed the chance to impress on the international stage for England at Euro 2012 this summer

Danny Welbeck

Also benefitting from a loan spell, Welbeck has already bettered the six goals he scored for Sunderland last year with eight in the current campaign, with the 21-year-old keeping established forwards Javier Hernandez and Dimitar Berbatov out of the side. The striker’s touch may be found wanting at times, but his fantastic movement has allowed him to form a potentially devastating partnership with the likes of Wayne Rooney and Antonio Valencia at Old Trafford as the Red Devils remain on course for their 20th Premier League title.