In the seventh minute of the game at Anfield, Liverpool and Manchester United fans stood in unison to show solidarity with Cristiano Ronaldo, who missed the game following the death of his baby son. The home supporters also sang a brief rendition of their club anthem: “You’ll Never Walk Alone”.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp applauded this gesture, and also termed it a “moment of the game”.
Liverpool won the game by 4-0, thanks to a double-strike from Mohammad Salah, and a goal each from Sadio Mane and Luis Diaz. Thiago ran the show in the midfield with his outrageous vision and absurd passes. “Pretty sure if you ask anybody about it, my moment of the game, even when it was very important and a great result, was the seventh minute when our people showed pure class,” Klopp told reporters.
This is not the first time Ronaldo earned applause from fans of rival teams. Let’s take a look at five occasions when Ronaldo’s performance forced the rival fans to forget their allegiance and appreciate the striker.
1. Real Madrid vs Liverpool 2014/15
Cristiano Ronaldo received a hostile reception when Real Madrid toured Liverpool for UEFA Champions League fixture in 2014/15. His every touch, every pass, and every shot was met with boos and hisses. Any letdown and the fans cheered wildly. Yet by the end of it, Ronaldo won over Liverpool’s fans with a stellar display, scoring a sensational volley to give his team a lead. Real Madrid won that game by 3-0, and Ronaldo was given standing ovation.
2. Portugal vs Lithuania 2019
The whole LFF Stadium in Lithuania rose to applaud Cristiano Ronaldo when he was brought off with 10 minutes remaining. During his stay for 80 minutes, Ronaldo netted four times, and broke Robbie Keane’s record of scoring the most number of goals in a European qualifier. Lithuania suffered a 6-0 drubbing and was knocked out of the tournament.
3. Real Madrid vs Juventus 2018/19
On April 3, 2018, Cristiano Ronaldo struck a thunderous overhead kick goal against Juventus in the quarter-final of the UEFA Champions League. The look on Zinedine Zidane’s face said it all, as he shook his head in utter disbelief, It was a goal that ended Juventus’ journey but that didn’t deter their fans to rise up and appreciating the moment of magic they had just witnessed.
4. Real Madrid vs Manchester United 2013
Five years after leaving it, Ronaldo’s first visit to his boyhood club came in 2013, when Real Madrid was supposed to play Manchester United in the second leg. The fans gave him a rousing reception as they kept clapping from the moment his name was called out and stopped only after the match started.
5. Portugal vs Hungary
In the UEFA Euro Group F clash against Hungary, Ronaldo scored two late goals to guide his team to a 3-0 win. They were contained by their opponents for 84 minutes before Rafa Guerreiro opened the deadlock. Ronaldo walked away to a standing ovation from the fans.