On this day: March 19, 2008. Cristiano Ronaldo breaks George Best's scoring record at Manchester United

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It was a memorable day in a remarkable season for Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United.

On paper, scoring both goals in a 2-0 Premier League win over Bolton Wanderers at Old Trafford might not seem particularly stunning for the Portuguese winger who won the Fifa Club World Cup, Uefa Champions League, three Premier Leagues, an FA Cup and two League Cups during his time at the club.

But, on the day he was named United captain by Alex Ferguson for the first time – in the absence of regular leaders Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs, and Rio Ferdinand – Ronaldo managed to relegate 'El Beatle' from the top of the Red Devils' scoring charts.

Fellow winger George Best's tally of 32 goals in the 1967/68 season had stood proudly for four decades as the most goals scored by a United midfielder. It was a figure many thought would never be beaten and one that only a very special player could overhaul.

His first on the night came after just nine minutes when he buried a lose ball past Bolton goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi.

The second would follow soon after when Ronaldo sent a sweet, swerving 30-yard free-kick flying past a helpless Al Habsi – Bolton manager Gary Megson described the finish as "a bit of genius" – that took him on to 33 goals ... with a couple of months still left in the season.

He had done it in 37 appearances – compared to the Northern Irishman's 52 – and with some now trademark panache, wearing the iconic United No 7 shirt also worn by the likes of Best, Eric Cantona and David Beckham.

"Scoring that many goals is fantastic," Ferguson said after the match. "It speaks volumes for the boy's ability. There's no one else in the game today who could do that. It's just amazing. He has the technique, but he practises those free-kicks a lot as we know. It's one thing getting them on target, but then can you score?"

United assistant manager Carlos Queiroz, who had played a key role in persuading Ferguson to splash out on signing Ronaldo for £12.24 million (Dh55m) from Sporting Lisbon in 2003, was equally full of praise for the player.

"Since the beginning of the season everyone had a feeling there was something special with Ronaldo's play," he said. "But most of us did not expect he could go so far. We hope that between now and the end he can score many more goals."

Ronaldo would finish the season with 42 goals, only four short of Denis Law's club record of 46 in 1963/64, his most prolific yet in football.

He would play only one more campaign in England before swapping United's red shirt for the white of Real Madrid in a world record move at the time, of £80 million.