09 May 2024


April 2007, Ronaldo conjures magic 3 days before the Old Trafford semi-final

In the month of May, the final stretch of the 2023/24 season. Cagliari arrive at San Siro for matchday 36. Among the memorable home matches against the Sardinians, we have chosen a particular one from a season that saw a triumphant conclusion for us. We're talking about the 2006/07 season, crowned by AC Milan's seventh Champions League title. One standout player in that AC Milan v Cagliari match on 21 April 2007, was Ronaldo. Context is essential here because this match comes just a few days before the first leg of the Champions League semi-final against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

The Rossoneri line-up is somewhat experimental: from the start, Dida, Nesta, Maldini, Jankulovski, Oddo, Pirlo, Ambrosini, Kaká and Gilardino are rested, which constitutes 9 out of 11 of the starting line-up on 24 April in Manchester. However, the approximately 43,000 spectators at San Siro are not disappointed because Ronaldo, cup-tied in Europe having already played for Real Madrid in the first part of the season, is conjuring magic. The Brazilian takes centre stage with an opportunistic brace on 14' and 69'. Both goals were assisted by compatriot Marcos Cafu.

The first goal is a simple tap-in from close range. The second, Ronaldo shows the cunning of an experienced striker by scoring with his chest! Cafu again with the assist, taking advantage of Chimenti's poor positioning. With this, Ronaldo made it 7 goals in 11 appearances for the season, his second brace, and his fourth consecutive goal. Not bad at all. After Ronaldo's double, Cagliari pulled one back with a Suazo penalty, but Pirlo, who came off the bench, sealed the match with a venomous free-kick. 3-1 to AC Milan, and it's on to Manchester United, and we all remember how that went.

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