Tag Archives: Sporting Lisbon

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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Where Next For City Rejects?

Manchester City may be the Premier League champions and may have a huge transfer budget to strengthen their squad this summer, but there are many dead wood players in the squad which they need to get rid off. Here, we look at the possible destinations of those players who are expected to leave Eastlands this summer.

1. Kolo Toure

The former Arsenal defender has struggled to get his place back in Manchester City’s starting XI following the lengthy drugs ban last year, and with Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott now City’s first choice pair in the heart of the defence, Toure looks likely to leave this summer. PSG and Bursaspor, were both rumoured to be interested in the Ivorian, but with the French capital side signing Thiago Silva and the Turkish side making no further contacts, it looks unlikely that Toure will move to anyone of those two clubs. Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal are also chasing the strong defender, but his huge wage demands may create an obstacle to the potential deal.

2. Stefan Savic

With Vincent Kompany suspended and Kolo Toure on international duty, Savic had his opportunity to prove himself in the Premier League at the back for City. The result was disastrous, as he played a huge part in City’s defeat to Liverpool in the Carling Cup semi-final and his worst game was against Swansea, when he was subbed off after just 45 minutes. The Montenegro international still has three years left on his contract at the Etihad, but City could cut their losses by selling him this summer. Sporting Lisbon and Roma are both interested, while Wolves are ready to take him to the Championship on a season long loan.

3. Nigel de Jong

The hard-tackling midfielder has seen his role fall from a first team member to a squad player in the past couple of years, but yet the Dutch international claims he is happy to warm the bench and be useful whenever the club needs him. Italian giants Inter Milan are said to be interested in him and move to the San Siro could be hard to turn down.

4. Roque Santa Cruz

Signed for around £17.5m in 2009, the Paraguayan international is one of those City signings who has spent more time away on loan to other clubs rather than at the Etihad stadium. A brief spell at Blackburn was followed by a season-long loan to Real Betis in 2011/13. Mancini is not at all a fan of Santa Cruz, but Betis are certainly interested to sign him, after he scored some important goals for them in the La Liga last season. The former Manchester United target has expressed his desire to stay with the La Liga club on permanent basis and is ready to take a wage cut to do so.

5. Emmanuel Adebayor

The Togolese striker is another big money signing who has seen his career fall apart since joining City. The former Arsenal man had a bright start at the Eastlands, scoring in his first four games including against his former club but since the arrival of Roberto Mancini, the 6ft 3in slipped down the pecking order. Adebayor had successful loan spells at Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur but both the clubs were unable to agree a deal to keep him. Spurs have made it clear they want to sign him but he will have to take a significant wage drop to make the transfer possible.

6. Edin Dzeko

The tall Bosnian striker became one of the Europe’s hottest prospects during his time at Wolfsburg, where he helped them win the Bundesliga title, but his time at City has been very disappointing. Dzeko scored just twice in his first season and was in some good goal-scoring form at the start of last season, but his goals dried up in the second half of the season and that resulted him in falling out of favour with Mancini. AC Milan are rumored to be interested in signing him as a potential replacement for Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Premier League’s Top 10 Most Expensive Teenagers

With both Oscar and Lucas Moura linked with big money moves to Chelsea and Manchester United this summer, we look at the teenagers who joined a Premier League club for big money in the past. Here are Premier League’s top 10 most expensive teenagers.  

10. GARETH BALE: SOUTHAMPTON –> TOTTENHAM – £7m

The young Welsh full-back burst onto the scene at Southampton as a 16-year-old in 2006, immediately becoming the Saints’ first choice left-back and free-kick specialist. Manchester United and Arsenal were both interested in the teenager but Bale signed for the White Hart Lane club in 2007 for a fee in the region of £5m (rising to £10m based on appearances), but a year later it was settled to £7m. The Welsh international had a bizarre start to his career at White Hart Lane as he struggled with injuries and bad luck. Bale eventually settled in at the club and made a name for himself as a left winger. Bale is one of the most dangerous left wingers around in the game and also won the PFA Players’ Player of the Year Award in 2010-11 for his eye-catching performances in the league and in Europe.

9. CONNOR WICKHAM: IPSWICH –> SUNDERLAND – £7m (RISING TO £12m)

Wickham made a name for himself in the nPower Championship with Ipswich Town by scoring a total of  15 goals in two full seasons. The England under-21 international attracted a lot of interest from many Premier League clubs, but in the end Sunderland made the move and brought him to the Stadium of Light at the start of last season. The 6ft 3in striker, who is tipped to be a future England star, had a bad first season in the Premier League as he managed to find the back of the net just once in thirteen appearances.

8. THEO WALCOTT: SOUTHAMPTON –> ARSENAL – £9m

The pacey winger was roommates with Gareth Bale at Southampton, but Walcott chose the other side of North London as he made the big money to Arsenal in 2006. The then 16-year-old grabbed all the headlines when he was picked by Sven Goran Eriksson in the England squad for the 2006 World Cup after failing to make a single first-team appearance for the Gunners that season. Walcott didn’t feature at all in Germany and was later overlooked by Fabio Capello for the 2010 World Cup. The 23-year-old is now one of the important members of the Arsenal squad and is also an England regular.

7. CRISTIANO RONALDO: SPORTING LISBON –> MANCHESTER UNITED – £12m

Liverpool and Arsenal were both interested in the signing the Portuguese prodigy back in 2003, but eventually Manchester United brought him to Old Trafford after they played against his team in a pre-season friendly. It took sometime for the Portuguese to settle in England and get used to the Premier League, but once he got used to it he became the club’s star performer. The Portuguese international spent six seasons at Old Trafford making 292 appearances and scoring 118 goals. He helped the Red Devils win three Premier League, one FA Cup, two League Cups, one Champions League and one Club World Cup title before joining Real Madrid in 2009 for a whopping £80m. It was the best business ever done by Sir Alex Ferguson during his time with Manchester United.

6. ALEX OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN: SOUTHAMPTON –> ARSENAL – £12m (RISING TO £15m)

Another talent from Southampton’s youth academy. Oxlade-Chamberlain made himself known to top teams in the Premier League by scoring 10 goals in the first full season at the St. Mary’s. Arsenal snapped him up last summer and he made his debut against Manchester United at Old Trafford. The 18-year-old became the youngest ever Englishman to score in the Champions League when he scored the opening goal against Olympiakos. The England under-21 international won the hearts of the Arsenal fans by some impressive displays in his debut season in the top flight and was also selected in England’s UEFA EURO 2012 squad.

5. ROMELU LUKAKU: ANDERLECHT –> CHELSEA – £13m (RISING TO £18m)

Lukaku was already a regular first team member of his club – Anderlecht and his country –  Belgium before Chelsea signed him up in the summer last year. The then 18-year-old strong centre forward was brought in as a potential replacement for Didier Drogba but he failed to get much playing time last season as he made just eight appearances for the Blues in the Premier League. Lukaku, who has a very good goal-scoring record in Belgium, is expected to go out on loan this season in order to get some first-team action and Fulham are said to be the favourites.

4. PHIL JONES: BLACKBURN –> MANCHESTER UNITED – £16.5m

The then 19-year-old had made just 35 first-team league appearances for Blackburn but that didn’t stop Ferguson activating his release clause and bringing him to Old Trafford. The versatile defender – who played as a right-back, a center-back and as a defensive midfielder – had a great first season with Manchester United, making a total of 41 appearances in all competitions and also found the back of the net twice. The 20-year-old’s impressive displays for the Red Devils earned him an England senior team call-up and was also picked up for the Euros in Poland/Ukraine this summer by Roy Hodgson.

3. ANDERSON: FC PORTO –> MANCHESTER UNITED – £18m

It seems very unbelievable that the Brazilian costed United more than Ronaldo, but it’s true. Ferguson had to pay a whopping fee of  £18m to bring the young Brazilian, who was dubbed as the ‘next Ronaldinho’, to Old Trafford in 2007 when he was 19. Anderson has had something of a stop-start career at Old Trafford mostly troubled by injuries. The Brazilian international has won three Premier League titles, one League Cup and one Champions League title with the Red Devils during his five years at the club, but has been often linked with a move away from Manchester in the past couple of season. It look’s unlikely that United will be getting their money back if the Brazilian does leave in the near future.

2. MARIO BALOTELLI: INTER –> MANCHESTER CITY – £24m

Even though Balotelli signed for the reigning Premier League champions two days after his 20th birthday, he makes this list as the deal between the two clubs had been agreed when he was still in his teens. The Italian, who costed around £24m, has had a controversial time at the Eastlands both on and off the field. Super Mario has shown the maturity of a boy half his age and has made the headlines for all the wrong reasons’ in the past two years. But, whenever in mood, he has shown the world his true potential with some eye-catching displays for both City and Italy. He also played a vital role in helping Italy finish runners-up at this summer’s European Championship in Poland/Ukraine.

1. WAYNE ROONEY: EVERTON –> MANCHESTER UNITED – £27m

Sir Alex Ferguson signed Wayne Rooney for a staggering £27m in the summer of 2004, after he had starred for England at Euro 2004 in Portugal. Rooney, 18, when he joined United, already had two compete seasons under his belt in the Everton first-team and was one of most sought-after teenagers around. He announced himself to the United supporters with a hat-trick on debut and has become one of the key players for the Red Devils in the recent years. The 26-year-old England international has helped United win four Premier League titles, two League Cups, one Champions League and one Club World Cup in his eight years at Old Trafford.

Manchester United’s Potential Summer 2012 Transfer Targets

Manchester United had a decent last season as they finished second – just on goal difference – behind city rivals, Manchester City in the league but were very disappointing in both European – both the Champions League and Europa League – and the domestic cup competitions. 

This summer, United will look to strengthen their squad as they look to win back the Premier League title from their noisy neigbhours and also try and win the Champions League for the first time since the 2008. Sir Alex Ferguson has already strengthen his squad this summer by signing the Japanese international Shinji Kagawa and the highly-rated youngster Nick Powell, but the Red Devils will have to bring in some more new names if they want to challenge for trophies on all fronts. Here are Manchester United’s potential transfer targets the summer..

LEIGHTON BAINES – EVERTON (DEFENDER)

The Everton left-back has been linked with a move to Old Trafford for some time now and its highly likely that the England international will be a United player before the start of the season. Patrice Evra’s form dipped last term and the Frenchman is not getting any young. With Fabio away on loan at QPR, United need a new left-back and the 27-year-old would be a great choice. Baines, who is very good at set-pieces, is valued around £15m and would be a quality replacement for Evra.

MATS HUMMELS – BORUSSIA DORTMUND (DEFENDER)

The German defender had an outstanding Euros in Poland/Ukraine this summer and was one of the best performers for his country. The former Bayern Munich youth player has been one of the reasons for Dortmund’s success in the past couple of years as they did the League and Cup double last year. The Turkish origin defender, who is rated around £30m, has stated he is very happy to stay at Dortmund having sign new contract recently, but he would be a great signing for the Red Devils and with Rio Ferdinand past his best, he would be a great replacement for the veteran.

ALEX WITSEL – BENFICA (MIDFIELDER)

Portuguese giants Benfica are ready to cash in on the Belgium international, just a year after they signed him from Standard Liege. The 23-year-old was instrumental in helping the Portuguese side make the quarter-finals of the Champions League last season. Manchester United are interested in signing the £20m rated midfielder as they look to add more depth and quality in their midfield. Chelsea are also interested in him and a chance to play alongside his Belgium teammates – Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku – might just incline him towards Stamford Bridge.

LUKA MODRIC – TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR (MIDFIELDER)

Luka Modric is one name that has been on the Manchester United radar for some time now. With the playmaker ready to leave White Hart Lane this summer in search of regular Champions League football, Sir Alex Ferguson is ready to bring the £36m rated Croatian international to Old Trafford. But according to the reports in various papers in Spain, Modric has already agreed a deal with the La Liga champions Real Madrid and is expected to sign for Jose Mourinho’s side before July 15.

JOAO MOUTINHO – FC PORTO (MIDFIELDER)

Moutinho has attracted a lot of interest from the Premier League this summer after some putting in some impressive displays for Portugal at the Euros. The £25m rated midfielder has been a United target since his Sporting Lisbon days and is seen as an alternative for Luka Modric. Some reports claim that the Red Devils have already launched a bid for the Portuguese international, but they will have to battle with the likes of Chelsea and Tottenham – who are also interested in him – to bring him to Old Trafford.

KEVIN STROOTMAN – PSV EINDHOVEN (MIDFIELDER)

Sir Alex Ferguson is said to be interested in the the Dutch midfielder who has been dubbed as the ‘new Roy Keane’ because of his combative style of football. With the future of Darren Fletcher uncertain and with number of injury prone players in the squad, Strootman could be the answer to all of Ferguson’s problems. The PSV star has attracted a lot of interest because of his impressive performances over last couple of years and was also a part of the Dutch squad in Poland/Ukraine. The £15m rated Dutchman, who can also play as a holding midfielder, would no doubt strengthen the United midfield.

JAMES RODRIGUEZ – FC PORTO (MIDFIELDER)

The young Colombian is another player linked with a move to Old Trafford many times in the last couple of months. The 21-year-old had an impressive last season in the Portuguese league with FC Porto and has attracted interested from a host of Premier League clubs. With the future of Nani doubtful, Rodriguez could be a great addition to squad but it looks highly unlike that United and Sir Alex Ferguson would be ready to pay around £30m for the midfielder who has been dubbed the ‘new Cristiano Ronaldo’.

LUCAS MOURA – SAO PAULO (MIDFIELDER)

Lucas Moura is one of the most talented youngsters and the most hottest property in world football. The 19-year-old Brazilian has attracted interested from almost every top club in Europe and Manchester United are said to be one of them. According to the latest gossip columns, United have sent a delegation to Brazil to convince the £35m rated Brazil international – who has already been capped 13 times by his country – and his family about a move to Old Trafford, where he will join his fellow compatriots – Anderson, Rafael and Fabio.

MOUSSA DEMBELE – FULHAM (MIDFIELDER)

Dembele has had a successful time, so far, at Craven Cottage since joining Fulham in 2010. The forward who scored 24 times for AZ Alkmaar, has adapted very well to a midfield role in the Fulham team and was very impressive in the previous season. Dembele has just a year left on his contract and is in no hurry to extend it because of interest from several big Premier League sides like United and Chelsea. Some papers reported that the Reds Devils had an offer for the Belgium international rejected by Fulham over the weekend.

IKER MUNIAIN – ATHLETIC BILBAO (STRIKER)

Iker Muniain is another teenager who is on the Manchester United shopping list. The 19-year-old Spaniard caught Ferguson’s eye after he played an important role in knocking the Red Devils out of the Europa League last season. The versatile striker, who can play upfront or on the wings or just behind the striker in the midfield, scored the winner in the first leg and impressed in the second leg in Spain. The Bilbao forward, who made his international debut this year, is rated around £25m and would no doubt be great signing for the team.

ROBIN VAN PERSIE – ARSENAL (STRIKER)

Along with Juventus and Manchester City, United are also interested in signing the Arsenal skipper – Robin van Persie, who has said that he won’t be signing a new deal at the Emirates Stadium. Van Persie was in some outstanding goal scoring form last season and ended the league season as the Premier League’s top goal scorer with 30 goals. With Michael Owen having already left and Dimitar Berbatov expected to leave, there is place for another striker in the squad and Van Persie will be an outstanding option. The Rooney-Van Persie combination up front will be just too deadly to deal with for any team. With just one year left on the 28-year-old’s contract, the Gunners are expected to cash in on the forward this summer and an offer around £16m-£20m may well be enough.

ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI – BORUSSIA DORTMUND (STRIKER)

The Poland international, who scored the opening goal of the UEFA EURO 2012, is another Dortmund player to be linked with a move to United this summer. Lewandowski has had an incredible past 12 months and has scored 30 goals including a hat-trick in the 5-2 win over Bayern Munich in the German Cup final. The striker has just two years left on his contract and has attracted interest from many Premier League clubs including Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea.