What happened the only time Cristiano Ronaldo and Ronaldo Nazario faced each other on the pitch

Two of the best ever sharing the same pitch.

They share the same name and they are two of the greatest ever to play the game, but Ronaldo Nazario and Cristiano Ronaldo only shared the pitch on one occasion.

The two were on opposite teams during a charity match organised by Luis Figo, a teammate of both players in his glittering career, back in July 2005.

The game was held at the Algarve stadium in Portugal in front of 25,000 fans and helped raise money for Luis Figo’s Foundation and the Ronald McDonald House Charity.

‘R9’ was on the same side as Figo, with the team managed by Sir Bobby Robson – who coached the Brazilian when he was at Barcelona.

And it was the older, more experienced Ronaldo who proved to be the match-winner – scoring twice in a 2-1 victory for his team.

Highlights from the game are a bit of a tough find but there is a compilation of CR7’s performance in the game, courtesy of ‘Hris70wComps’.

A young Ronaldo had only signed for Manchester United from Sporting CP in a £12.24 million deal two years prior after mesmerising United players and manager Sir Alex Ferguson in a pre-season friendly.

But his ridiculous dribbling ability was on display during this exhibition game – even if he was only on the pitch for 32 minutes.

Five-time Ballon d’Or Cristiano would of course also end up strutting his stuff for Real Madrid, scoring 450 goals in nine seasons and breaking a whole slew of records.

2007 Ballon d’Or winner Kaka played with both players during his coveted career and opted for R9 when asked who was the better Ronaldo.

He told SPORTbible: “Brazilian Ronaldo was the best player I ever played with. The things I saw that guy do on the field was amazing. Ronaldo was the best I played with, but what Cristiano did – and is doing – is just unreal.

Both Ronaldo's at the FIFA Best- Getty

Both Ronaldo’s at the FIFA Best- Getty

“The most important thing for me about Cristiano is the way he can motivate himself after all the achievements he has got.”

Eight-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi is also inclined to agree. “Ronaldo [Nazario] was a phenomenon, Of all the strikers I ever saw, he was the best,” Messi said in an interview with AS.

“He was seriously impressive.”

Featured Image Credit: ‘Hris70wComps’

Topics: Cristiano Ronaldo, Ronaldo Nazario, Luis Figo, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Lionel Messi, Kaka

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