Real Madrid's 'Galacticos' era was in full force after winning the Champions League in 2001-02. Back in 2003, the Galacticos were looking to assert their dominance as they travelled to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United in the quarter-final on this day, April 23, 2003. Los Blancos were in high spirits courtesy of their 3-1 aggregate lead after Raul Gonzalez's brace at the Santiago Bernabeu. However, it was Ronaldo who rose to the occasion at Old Trafford.
In Raul Gonzalez's absence due to an injury, Ronaldo led the lines for Real Madrid without his strike partner. In the 12th minute of the game, Ronaldo struck just from the edge of the box, beating Fabien Barthez; the first of his iconic Ronaldo hat-trick vs Manchester United. However, Ruud van Nistelrooy equalised for Sir Alex Ferguson's Man United just before half-time.
Ronaldo again scored just five minutes into the second half, netting in style from a brilliant Roberto Carlos assist, inching closer towards the Ronaldo hat-trick vs Manchester United. However, it was 2-2 within two minutes from Ronaldo's strike after an own goal from Real Madrid defender Ivan Helguera.
Ronaldo was quick to complete his hat-trick in the 59th minute, striking one from outside the box, leaving Old Trafford shellshocked. However, the game wasn't over as Sir Alex Ferguson introduced a surprise element into the game - David Beckham. The England international scored a brace - a brilliant freekick followed by a tap-in to keep the game going. While the game ended 4-3 with a Man United victory, Los Blancos marched on to the semi-final, courtesy of the 6-5 aggregate score.