UEFA.com marks Ronaldo's birthday by looking back at his hat-trick at Old Trafford in 2003, when the home crowd gave him a standing ovation. "It was very special for me."
Article top media content
UEFA.com marks former Barcelona and Real Madrid striker Ronaldo's 39th birthday by looking back at his memorable Old Trafford hat-trick in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.
Madrid, who already had a 3-1 lead from the first leg in the Spanish capital, advanced to the last four in style, Ronaldo's high-class treble enough to give them a three-goal aggregate cushion. The ex-Brazilian international was taken off midway through the second half to a standing ovation from home and away fans alike. Though United eventually pulled back the overall score to 6-5, the damage was done.
"When I left the pitch, people stood up and applauded me off," said Ronaldo. "It was a really unique situation and a very special moment for me. I haven't really experienced a similar situation since then. It was very interesting and special for me."
Hear more from Ronaldo and watch his hat-trick in the video above