Cristiano Ronaldo came up against former Liverpool defender Phil Babb as a teenager at Sporting Lisbon with the former Red detailing an interesting collision involving the pair
Former Liverpool man Phil Babb has recalled the moment he flattened a teenage Cristiano Ronaldo at Sporting Lisbon.
The defender spent his playing days in England with the likes of Coventry and the Reds before heading off to Portugal for two years in 2000.
It was at Sporting that he came across an unknown winger by the name of Ronaldo.
At that point he was part of the Portuguese club’s youth set-up but was set for a rapid rise.
Babb though, who was capped 35 times by the Republic of Ireland, left his mark on the Manchester United new boy.
He joked: “I forearm-chopped him.
“I knocked him out! Ronaldo’s on the floor, and I’m like, ‘nunca mais’ – never again.
“He’s looking at me, and he doesn’t know what has happened.”
He then claimed: “I reckon I had a massive influence on his career!”
Ronaldo arrived in England in 2003 and spent six years at Old Trafford before moving on to Real Madrid.
During that time he transformed into the world’s best player, winning the first of his five Ballon d’Ors in 2008 as the Red Devils won the Champions League.
Ronaldo scored 118 times whilst in England and is poised to make his second debut next weekend against Newcastle.
He will again wear the No 7 shirt after inheriting it from Edinson Cavani, who has taken on the No 21.
“I wasn’t sure if it would be possible to have the number seven shirt again, so I would like to say a huge thank you to Edi [Cavani] for this incredible gesture,” Ronaldo said.
The 36-year-old was linked with a shock move to Manchester City before United swooped in.
The forward has already labelled the switch as “the best decision he could’ve made”
He told the club’s website: “I have a fantastic history with this amazing club. I was there at 18 years old and of course, I’m so happy to be back home after 12 years. So I’m really glad and looking forward to starting my first game.
“I think it’s the best decision that I have made. It’s right on point in my opinion.
“I moved from Juve now to Manchester, it’s a new chapter, I’m so happy and glad, and I want to carry on again, to make history, to try to help Manchester achieve great results, to win trophies and number one of them, to win great things.”