At the moment, Cristiano Ronaldo is experiencing a full-circle moment: he is back to Manchester United, the club that saw him flourish as a soccer superstar. Surely, this brings back old memories for him and also old friends and acquaintances. During his career, CR7 has had different encounters with old teammates and also rivals that ultimately became his coaches. This is the case with three players that played with or against Cristiano in different roles over time: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Andrea Pirlo and Zinedine Zidane. Find more about the coach that made Real Madrid 3-peat the Champions League.
Former teammates reunite
Cristiano Ronaldo ’s transfer to Manchester United was announced in August and, since then, the Portuguese player has already met with coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Back in the day, both players were teammates in Manchester United for a brief period before Solskjaer was forced to retire in 2007 due to recurrent knee injuries. After his retirement, Solskjaer started building his career as a coach, which ultimately led him back to Manchester United in 2018 to become its manager. Surely both players have a lot to catch up on.
Historical rivals make peace
Solskjaer was not the only peculiar re-encounter Cristiano Ronaldo had. When he played for Juventus, he was coached by the great Andrea Pirlo. Learn more about "la Vecchia Signora".
Both players have a great relationship nowadays but there used to be a certain tension when they would meet on the field. Back in 2005, in a Manchester United vs. Milan match, the experienced Pirlo actually humiliated a young Ronaldo, who was known for his dribbling abilities. It turns out that Pirlo was not any less talented at dribbling and actually tricked CR7, who ended up on the floor astonished about Pirlo’s skills.
International face-off with a future coach
In Cristiano Ronaldo’s career, he has been in many clubs.
In 2009, he was transferred to Real Madrid where he would be coached by Zinedine Zidane. These two players actually have an interesting history.
During the 2006 World Cup, they faced each other in the semifinals match. France was facing Portugal on that occasion. Much to Ronaldo’s dismay, Zidane scored a goal that eliminated Portugal. The young Portuguese player could not hold back his tears out of frustration, his dream of playing a World Cup final had been snatched from him.
Cristiano Ronaldo has certainly had some interesting encounters with former teammates or rivals. There has been no talk of retirement for him yet, so who knows what the destiny has in store for him. Hopefully there will be more entertaining and curious encounters in his horizon.