In 2003, Real Madrid CF's Ronaldo scored a hat-trick so exquisite that Manchester United FC's fans gave him a standing ovation. We discover what happened to the protagonists.
Article top media content
Not even the sight of David Beckham on the Manchester United FC bench for more than an hour could avert eyes from Ronaldo's exploits at Old Trafford on 23 April 2003. The Real Madrid CF striker helped himself to a hat-trick so exquisite that the majority of those in attendance rose as one to applaud him off – United fans included. It was enough to earn Madrid victory on the night – despite Beckham's late two-goal cameo – and a place in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals.
One smart finish, a tap-in and a vicious drive – the European Footballer of the Year's every touch against United oozed class. Ronaldo scored over 100 goals for Madrid, though injuries took their toll before he left in 2007. He spent a season at AC Milan, two at SC Corinthians Paulista, but he was never the same. Ronaldo, an ambassador for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, hinted in January that he may yet come out of retirement aged 38.
2. Steve McManaman
Merseyside-born McManaman spent nine years of his professional career at Liverpool FC, but it was in the Spanish capital that he enjoyed his most illustrious phase. He was among the scorers in Madrid's UEFA Champions League final triumph of 2000 and added another winners' medal to his haul two years later. There were also a pair of Liga titles, before he ended his career at Manchester City FC. McManaman has held a number of ambassadorial roles since his retirement, including with UEFA, as well as trying his hand at film production, corporate work, youth coaching and television punditry.
3. Luís Figo
Ballon d'Or winner in 2000, FIFA World Player of the Year the following year, UEFA Champions League winner 12 months later – Figo was never short of success in a career that took in spells with both Madrid and fierce rivals FC Barcelona. The former Portugal winger ended up at FC Internazionale Milano and has held various ambassadorial roles at San Siro since ending his playing days. His most significant post may still be yet to come: Figo announced in January his intention to run for the FIFA presidency.
4. Roberto Carlos
He of the vicious left foot, Brazilian wing-back Roberto Carlos made more than 500 appearances for the Merengues. He left the club in 2007 and had stints of varying success in Turkey (Fenerbahçe SK), Brazil (Corinthians) and Russia (FC Anji Makhachkala) before turning his hand to coaching. This started with an ill-fated few months at the Anji helm, but he fared better at Sivasspor and is now in charge of another Turkish top-flight club, Akhisar Belediyespor.
5. Zinédine Zidane
Zidane will always be remembered for his picture-perfect volley in the 2002 UEFA Champions League final and his rather less admirable contribution to the 2006 World Cup decider. That red card at the Olympiastadion was his last act as a professional footballer, though he has since kept the world of social media abuzz turning out for Madrid veterans sides, in charity matches and on the futsal court. He remains at the Bernabéu, and was a special adviser, sporting director and assistant to Carlo Ancelotti before his current post as reserve team coach.
6. Ole Gunnar Solskjær
The 1999 final – when Solskjær came on and scored United's winner deep into added time – was always going to take some topping. The 'Baby-Faced Assassin', as he was known for his cherubic looks and deadly finishing, was a key option for Sir Alex Ferguson for more than a decade. He retired at Old Trafford and took over United's reserves, impressing sufficiently to get the top job at Molde FK in his homeland in 2010. Two Norwegian league titles were enough for Premier League club Cardiff City AFC to come calling, but Solskjær could not prevent relegation and left a month into their 2014/15 Championship campaign.