Where Man Utd’s XI from Cristiano Ronaldo’s last game are now ahead of return

Cristiano Ronaldo will return to Manchester United 12 years and three months to the day since his last game for them.

The 36-year-old spent six seasons at Old Trafford, scoring 118 goals in 292 appearances before heading to Real Madrid for a then-world record £80m.

While he won three Premier League titles and a Champions League honour at the club, his last game for the club did end on a bad note.

Ronaldo was part of Sir Alex Ferguson’s starting XI aiming for a quadruple as they looked to add Europe’s top honour to their Club World Cup, league and League Cup honours, with Barcelona in their wayf.

Coming up against rival Lionel Messi, Thierry Henry, Samuel Eto’o, Thierry Henry, Xavi and Andres Iniesta was too much in a 2-0 loss at the Stadio Olimpico, Rome.

12 years and three months to the day, he returns to Old Trafford with 30 major honours as well as five Ballon d’Ors.

But how did his team-mates on that night in Rome fare? Daily Star Sport finds out…

Edwin Van der Sar

The 6ft 6in goalkeeper would hang up his gloves two years after this game, making 266 appearances for four league titles.

After a year of punditry in native Holland, he started as a marketing director at boyhood club Ajax, working up the ranks to become CEO five years ago.

He is responsible for bringing through incredible talents at the club such as Frenkie de Jong, Hakim Ziyech, Donny van de Beek and Matthijs de Liga.

And it has caught United’s attention, with the 50-year-old earning calls from fans to replace the departing Ed Woodward.

Do you think Manchester United will win titles with Cristiano Ronaldo? Let us know in the comments section.

John O’Shea

United’s former right-back was famously on the end of Ronaldo’s brilliance in that 2003 preseason game for Sporting Lisbon, needing an ‘oxygen tank’.

But he was a mainstay for Sir Alex, clocking nearly 400 appearances before leaving for Sunderland eight years later.

He stayed with the Black Cats, going down into the Championship in 2018 before swapping to Reading the following season.

Retiring in 2019 on his 38th birthday, he joined the backroom staff but left this summer, saying he would “move back to Manchester and for me to take on a new challenge”.

He has also been working with the Ireland U21s during international breaks.

Rio Ferdinand

The Englishman only just made the squad for United after battling with a calf injury, judged to be fit enough after travelling.

Having joined just a year before Ronaldo, Ferdinand stuck it out for one season following Sir Alex’s retirement before heading to QPR for a sole campaign.

He was already on the way to the pundit’s chair, though, and the former centre-back is now a regular for BT Sport as well as BBC during international tournaments.

Nemanja Vidic

United’s second half of their rock-solid centre-back pairing was the Serbian, regarded as one of the best in the world at the time.

He would join Ferdinand in leaving the club at the end of the 2013/14 season, receiving three standing ovations.

Vidic decided on Inter to see out his career – but it proved to be a tough time, cast aside by Roberto Mancini in his second season to make no appearances before calling it quits.

The 39-year-old keeps himself to himself, “driving his boys” to school and football in Milan while occasionally making ambassadorial appearance for the club.

Patrice Evra

The Frenchman was one of the few told by Ronaldo himself that he would return to Old Trafford, sharing the WhatsApp message on Twitter.

And their paths almost crossed following Evra’s 2014 departure for Juventus – but he left a year before Ronaldo’s move for Marseille.

Retiring after a short spell at West Ham, he has built a loyal following on Instagram with his videos, using #ilovethisgame.

While he was back at Carrington two years ago to earn some coaching badges and appeared at Old Trafford last September for World XI at Soccer Aid.


The Brazilian had been a regular for the last two seasons in United’s midfield following his arrival from Porto.

But it went downhill from there, plagued with injuries which ex-team-mate Rafael said he had a love of fast food chain McDonalds.

He returned to home country Brazil in February 2015 for Internacional and then Coritiba, playing his last football for Turkish side Adana Demirspor last year.

Anderson, though, appears to be on the wrong side of the law, being investigated this month for laundering £4.7m in cryptocurrency.

Michael Carrick

Another firm favourite for Sir Alex was the Englishman but described the loss to Barcelona as the worst night of his career.

But he stuck it out at Old Trafford, going on to make 464 appearances for the club before announcing his retirement in 2018.

He was back at pitch level in December that year, though, when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made him first-team coach, a position he still holds today.

Ryan Giggs

United’s most capped player was on the 806th of his 963 games when he pulled on the jersey in Rome.

The one-club man finally called it quits in 2014 when he took over as interim boss following David Moyes’ departure, two of his four games in charge.

He became assistant under Louis Van Gaal the following season and left with him two years later.

Following a spell in punditry, he took the call from the Wales national team to replace Chris Coleman.

He is still in the position with a win rate of 53 per-cent but has been away from the squad since November last year following an arrest on suspicion of assaulting his girlfriend.

Ji-Sung Park

The Red Devils cult hero was the first ever Asian star to play in a Champions League final when he started alongside Ronaldo.

He made it 205 appearances before leaving in 2012, heading to QPR for a season before returning to PSV to see our his career.

United soon took him back as a club ambassador – but Park had ambitions of his own, heading to De Montford University to study Sports Management.

As of January this year, the 40-year-old is advises the academy of Korean top-flight side Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.

Wayne Rooney

Ronaldo was joined in attack by the man who would become United’s all-time top scorer, registering 253 appearances before his departure in 2017.

He returned to boyhood club Everton for a season before conquering American with DC United, adding 25 more goals to his tally.

Derby took England’s all-time top scorer in January 2020 but it proved to be his opportunity to get into management, taking over from sacked Philip Cocu in November.

But it was a baptism of fire, guiding them to survival on the last day of the 20/21 season while he is currently battling a transfer embargo.

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