CRISTIANO RONALDO has reflected on the moment which he realised that he could go on to become the best player in the world.
The Real Madrid star pipped Lionel Messi to his fifth Ballon d’Or last night in Paris after winning the La Liga title and Champions League last season.
The Portuguese attacker then cast his mind back to where his career really kicked into gear at Old Trafford.
Ronaldo won three Premier League titles and a Champions League while at United, before going on to claim his first Golden Ball 2008.
A move to Real followed and he has never looked back since - until now.
The 32-year-old claims that the momentous occasion is still fresh in his mind and he is grateful to the Red Devils for helping springboard a fantastic career at the Bernabeu.
"I was different from the other kids,” Ronaldo said.
“But when I noticed it was really good, I was in (Manchester) United.
“Then I was with other great players. Van Nistelrooy, Ferdinand.
“I saw talents there that I saw that could be the same Golden Ball.
“In the first season I thought of dedicating myself even more to guarantee the second Golden Ball.”