CRISTIANO RONALDO is obsessed with Nando’s and would gorge on chicken with the man he made his first Manchester United debut with in 2003.
The Portuguese superstar was 18 when he came on against Bolton along with cult hero Eric Djemba-Djemba.
Eighteen years later, Ronaldo is set to run out again against Newcastle, ready to spice things up at Old Trafford once more.
And his Cameroonian pal, now 40, has revealed all about their debut together and love of the chicken chain.
Djemba-Djemba said: “Cristiano and I made our debuts together against Bolton.
“At that time I had no idea what was going to happen in the future, but I was so proud to make my debut with him.
“We were sat with each other on the bench, he was watching and talking about the game, having a laugh.
“Then Sir Alex Ferguson said ‘Eric, Cristiano — go warm up’, and then we came on together. He just wanted to play football every minute.”
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Djemba-Djemba, talking on behalf of www.britishgambler.co.uk, added: “Everybody knew what Cristiano was like as a kid, he loved to do all of the skills. He was doing them all against Bolton.
“Every day, he would arrive first so that he could go to the gym before training, then after training he’d want to go to the gym again!
“Sometimes I’d say ‘Cristiano, let’s go back home’, because sometimes we’d drive to training together and I’d drive him or he would drive me.
“We’d go to eat at a restaurant — he introduced me to Nando’s, and we’d go and have food together. He loved the chicken there and I’d have spicy chicken.
“We’d often go and see movies together, or watch games at his house and went shopping together either to Deansgate or the Trafford Centre, and just be tourists.”
Nicky Hunt is another who remembers that Ronaldo introduction well and not for good reasons, as he made his own Premier League debut in the same game for Bolton.
Full-back Hunt was marking Ronaldo and managed to boot him from the left to the right wing under orders from Trotters boss Sam Allardyce.
But it made no difference as the Portuguese superstar “caused absolute havoc” on the other flank to leave the Red Devils 4-0 winners.
Hunt said: “There’s no preparation for what he did that day — he turned the game around.
“Allardyce and Phil Brown were just saying ‘hit him’ every time he got the ball. That’s literally what I did.
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“The first two tackles I smashed him and then he switched over to the other wing and caused absolute havoc on the left as well.
“I’m not sure we all thought that he was going to be the best in the world, but there were certainly glimpses that day.
“We sat there after the game and just thought to ourselves, ‘we’ve got a real player on our hands now’.”
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