Liverpool and Manchester United fans have proven why we call it 'The beautiful game'. In the seventh minute of their Premier League game on Tuesday, April 19, both home and away supporters held a minute's applause in support of Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Portuguese star lost his newborn baby boy on Monday, which is why he didn't make the trip to Anfield. World soccer had immediately shown its support for him and his family before fans who attended the English derby paid a heartfelt tribute

Even though this applause was held for a particular reason, which was the devastating news Ronaldo and his loved ones suffered prior to this game, it was not the first time that rival fans applauded an opposing player.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo himself already knew what being applauded by rival fans was like. Before the emotional tribute paid by Liverpool fans, Cristiano received a standing ovation from Juventus supporters when he played for Real Madrid. On April 3, 2018, Ronaldo took all the spotlight as his team beat the Italians 3-0 in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals. That day, he won recognition from home fans following an incredible bycicle goal.

Lionel Messi

Unsurprisingly, Lionel Messi has also drawn respect from opposing fans more than once. The Argentine megastar has been applauded by Real Betis fans when he scored a hat-trick at the Benito Villamarin on March 17, 2019, and he returned the love by thanking them. It was not the first time he lived something similar, though, as Atletico Madrid supporters also held a standing ovation for Messi on January 6, 2009, when he bagged a hat-trick at the Vicente Calderon in a Copa del Rey affair.

Andres Iniesta

A Barcelona and Spanish national team icon, Andres Iniesta has also received love far from home. One of the most emblematic applauses he's ever received came from Espanyol fans, who despite their lifelong rivalry with the Cules, paid tribute to the 2010 World Cup hero on December 18, 2010. Iniesta was also applauded at the Vicente Calderon and even at the Santiago Bernabeu, as Real Madrid fans recognized his brilliant performance in Barca's 4-0 win on November 21, 2015.

Alessandro Del Piero

Even though they are one of the most demanding fanbases on the planet, Real Madrid supporters do show respect for a great performance, even if it comes from an opposing player. If not, just ask Alessandro Del Piero, who was applauded at the Bernabeu after an amazing performance. On November 5, 2008, he scored twice to help Juventus win 2-0 in the Champions League group stage and home supporters recognized the then 33-year-old striker. 

Ronaldo Nazario

When we talk about players who, apart from Messi or Cristiano, delighted all soccer fans, including rival supporters, we talk about Ronaldo Nazario. On April 23, 2003, Manchester United fans at the Old Trafford held a standing ovation for the Brazilian megastar when he was leaving the pitch after a fantastic hat-trick. Los Blancos lost 3-4 that day but won 6-5 on aggregate to advance to the Champions League semis. However, the 'Theater of Dreams' was fair by recognizing Ronaldo's superb night. 


Just like the aforementioned Brazilian legend, Ronaldinho was also loved and admired by the entire soccer community. One of the most charismatic stars to ever play the game, Dinho left everyone in awe - including home fans - on November 19, 2005, when he scored a double in Barcelona's 3-0 win over Real Madrid at the Bernabeu. In the 77th minute, most spectators stood up to applaude the Brazilian playmaker in a night that went down in the history books.