What happened to 5 stars who were branded ‘next Ronaldo’ including Man Utd flops

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Manchester United, Real Madrid and now Juventus are the only clubs to fully enjoy the prowess of Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Portugal international led the first two to unprecedented success, winning league titles and European cups for fun.

Such a feat is yet to be repeated in Turin, though he did help them to a Serie A win last year.

Five Ballon d'Or accolades and more goals than humanely possible, it seems, have made Ronaldo immortal.

But the great forward is now in the twilight of his career, aged 36 and counting down the days until his retirement.

Clubs are desperate to find the 'next Ronaldo', and some have earned that dub, but where are they now?

Federico Macheda

The Italian striker will forever be remembered for that iconic goal against Aston Villa that helped United to a league title in 2009.

Having featured alongside Ronaldo, comparisons were inevitable and perhaps unfair to the youngster.

Unfortunately, that was about as good as it got for Macheda, who currently plays for Panathinaikos, having had spells at QPR, Doncaster and Italian minnows Novara.

Wilfried Zaha

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  • Another United flop, the Ivory Coast international will go down as a Crystal Palace legend having kept them in the Premier League almost single-handedly for so many years.

    But after signing for the Red Devils with Sir Alex Ferguson in charge, many believed that the Scotsman had discovered his latest Ronaldo-esque figure.

    Sadly, that was not the case and a miserable couple of years saw him at Old Trafford for a matter of months where he was frozen out by David Moyes.

    Joao Felix

    Energetic, dazzling skill, Portuguese. If you tick these three boxes, then it is only a matter of time before you are compared to the big man.

    And that is what Felix has in abundance while Atletico Madrid were confident enough he would replicate Ronaldo that they forked out £113m for his services.

    He has not quite found his feet at the Wanda Metropolitano but the 21-year-old has plenty of time on his hands.

    Kylian Mbappe

    After the Frenchman burst onto the scene with Monaco, everyone was tipping Mbappe to follow in Ronaldo's footsteps.

    And, in fact, the explosive forward has become a superstar in his own right while with Paris St-Germain.

    Now linked with a move to Real Madrid, Mbappe has the chance to go on and make a real legacy for himself.

    Anthony Martial

    Not much was known about Martial after his move from Monaco but a terrific introduction to life at Old Trafford saw him score against Liverpool.

    With fans desperate for the next Ronaldo at United, comparisons were made between the two but the Frenchman has been too inconsistent to live up to the Portugal supremo.

    Still just 25, Martial has forged out a decent career for the Red Devils – though might be a few categories lower than Ronaldo on the legendary ladder.

    READ MORE:Cristiano Ronaldo doesn't drink alcohol due to family heartache

    READ MORE:Cristiano Ronaldo's armband on sale to raise money for charity after Portugal tantrum

    • Cristiano Ronaldo
    • Manchester United FC

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