Four years ago last month, Ronaldo turned in such an outstanding performance for Sporting Lisbon in their friendly win over Manchester United that Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs spent the journey home imploring Sir Alex Ferguson to sign the Madeira-born teenager.
Within weeks, Ferguson had acted on the advice, with the eventual £12million transfer fee now being heralded as one of the shrewdest bits of business he has ever done.
After curbing the excessive use of tricks which were a hallmark of his early days at Old Trafford, Ronaldo has gone on to become one of the best players on the planet.
But, for all his stellar performances in a United shirt, he still likes to look back fondly on virtually his last appearance for Sporting.
"I have watched that game many times," he admitted.
"It was a spectacular match for a lot of reasons - it was our first game in the new stadium, there was a capacity crowd and it was against Manchester United, a team I have always dreamt about playing for.
"Now that dream has come true."