R&R: An In-Depth Analysis
As most fans already know, both Rooney and Ronaldo scored hat-tricks in their games for Manchester United and Real Madrid, respectively. This got me thinking about all the possible parallels between the two R's. Here goes!
Rooney: 25; Ronaldo: 26
Rooney: Liverpool, England
Ronaldo: Madeira, Portugal
Rooney: striker (plays as #10)
Ronaldo: winger/striker (plays as #7)
Rooney: third highest-paid football player in the world
Ronaldo: second highest-paid football player in the world
Rooney: 403 apps, 169 goals
Ronaldo: 415 apps, 213 goals
Rooney: briefly became United's youngest goal-scorer
Ronaldo: became highest goalscorer in a season in Real Madrid's history
Rooney: won the goal of the season award three times
Ronaldo: first player to win all four main PFA/FWA awards
*Ronaldo played for Manchester United from 2003-2009. Among his honours is the 03-04 FA Cup. Rooney played for Everton until 2004. Both Ronaldo and Rooney were on the United squad from '04-'09.
*Both players are on the roster for their National Teams since 2003.
*Rooney and Ronaldo played for United when the team won the 2008 FIFA Club World Cup. Both scored goals in the tournament (Rooney -3, Ronaldo -1).
*Both won Barclay's Player of the Season awards, among others.
*The most infamous international incident involving both Ronaldo and Rooney was during the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. Portugal was playing England in a quarter-final match, during which Rooney was red-carded on the 62nd minute for stamping on a Portugal defender. It was clear that Ronaldo was trying to influence the referee's decision, and was shoved by Rooney for attempting to get involved. Ronaldo was seen winking at his benched NT teammates after his Manchester United teammate was sent off. Rooney publicly stated that he holds no grudge against Cristiano Ronaldo, taking into account the fact that in this tournament, they weren't teammates. Despite rumors that Ronaldo was going to leave United after the incident, he signed a five-year contract until 2007.
Both players continue to rise to prominence and will undoubtedly come head-to-head again soon. Till then, let's enjoy the winning streaks of both Manchester United and Real Madrid!