Manchester United icon Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Premier League Player of the Month award for the first time since March 2008, highlighting his incredible longevity at the highest level.
The Portuguese phenomenon was crowned the winner earlier today following an excellent start to his second spell in red, in which the 36-year-old scored three goals in three top-flight appearances during the month. Not bad for a so-called veteran!
A look at the history books shows that Ronaldo last claimed the prize some 13 years ago, during the second half of the club’s unforgettable 2007/08 season. Our talismanic no.7 netted five times that March against Derby County, Bolton Wanderers (two), Liverpool and Aston Villa, as you can see below.
We know what you’re thinking: who were the other Players of the Month that season and where are they now? Here is your at-a-glance guide…
AUGUST 2007: MICAH RICHARDS
Then: The Manchester City defender burst onto the 2007/08 scene by keeping three consecutive clean sheets in a run of results that unfortunately included a 1-0 win over United.
Now: His last appearance was in October 2016 and, now retired, the former England international has become a popular media personality, even befriending Roy Keane in his Sky Sports punditry role.
SEPTEMBER 2007: CESC FABREGAS
Then: Aged 20, the Spanish midfielder was flourishing in an Arsenal side that had just lost Thierry Henry to Barcelona, scoring three goals that month to help the Gunners top the league table.
Now: The 34-year-old can be found in Ligue 1 as an experienced member of AS Monaco’s squad, often stepping off the bench under the management of former Bayern Munich boss Niko Kovac.
OCTOBER 2007: WAYNE ROONEY
Then: Playing up front with Ronaldo, the electrifying Englishman scored four league goals in as many matches, as part of a run of form that yielded eight goals in seven games for club and country.
Now: Retired from playing, 35-year-old Rooney is Derby County manager and working wonders in the Championship at a club that has been stricken by administrative punishments.
NOVEMBER 2007: GABRIEL AGBONLAHOR
Then: The Villa Park talisman scored twice in four straight wins, as Martin O’Neill’s team climbed up to sixth place in the Premier League table.
Now: Agbonlahor announced his retirement in March 2019, aged 32, having spent time without a club following his Villa exit. He is now a regular voice on talkSPORT in the UK.
DECEMBER 2007: ROQUE SANTA CRUZ
Then: The Paraguayan striker impressively scored eight goals across the festive month, including a hat-trick against Wigan Athletic, plus braces versus Arsenal and future club Manchester City.
Now: Aged 40, Santa Cruz is remarkably still going strong in his native Paraguay with Club Olimpia and is the oldest active player in this list.
JANUARY 2008: CRISTIANO RONALDO
Then: Midway through our glittering season, Ronny scored six goals in four league matches and notably netted his only United hat-trick (so far), against Newcastle at Old Trafford.
FEBRUARY 2008: FERNANDO TORRES
Then: Undoubtedly one of the world’s best strikers at the time, the clever Spaniard scored four times in Liverpool’s two league appearances this month, including a stunning hat-trick against Middlesbrough.
Now: Happily retired and carrying a more muscular frame (Google him!), 37-year-old Torres is currently managing Atletico Madrid B at his former club in Spain.
MARCH 2008: CRISTIANO RONALDO
Then: As United chased down what became a Premier League and Champions League double, Ronny was hitting optimum form and scored five times in the top-flight that month.
APRIL 2008: ASHLEY YOUNG
Then: The Aston Villa talisman and future United captain scored three times in the penultimate month of 2007/08, playing a major role in his side finishing sixth.
Now: Young returned to the Midlands club in the summer following a successful spell with Internazionale and, aged 36, he has made four Premier League appearances so far this season.