‘Old Trafford has always been a magical place’ – Ronaldo revels in remarkable return Sep 11, 2021
Cristiano Ronaldo said “Old Trafford has always been a magical place” after he marked his second debut for Manchester United with a double.
Ronaldo, who last month completed a sensational return to the club he left for Real Madrid in 2009, was named in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s starting XI for Saturday’s Premier League clash with Newcastle United.
Fresh from becoming the leading international goalscorer of all time, Ronaldo gave the eager Old Trafford crowd exactly what they wanted when he tucked in on the rebound just before half-time.
Javier Manquillo’s equalizer threatened to derail the day, yet Ronaldo slotted through Freddie Woodman’s legs to put United back in control, with Bruno Fernandes and Jesse Lingard rounding off a fine win to take United to the top of the table.
In a post on his official Instagram account, Ronaldo wrote: “My return to Old Trafford was just a brief reminder of why this stadium is known as the Theater of Dreams.
“For me, it has always been a magical place where you can achieve everything you set your mind to.
“Along with all my teammates and with the amazing support that we always get from the stands, we face the road ahead with confidence and optimism that we’ll all be celebrating together in the end.
“Proud to be back at United and playing in the Premier League once again, but above all, happy to help the team! Let’s go, Devils!”
Ronaldo set a league record for the length of a gap between two goals in the competition (12 years, 118 days), while also becoming the oldest player to score a double in a Premier League match since Graham Alexander did so for Burnley in 2010, at the age of 38.
Solskjaer said Ronaldo’s return “lived up to all expectations” and, in a separate interview with BBC Sport, United’s manager enthused over the superstar’s homecoming.
“I’m so happy for Cristiano Ronaldo. I’m so happy for the team and supporters. You sense the atmosphere around the club since he signed. It could easily have been an anti-climax because expectations were so high,” he said.
“It feels like one of the old days. It’s special. Cristiano is a special man and a special player for us in the history of the club.
“He senses big moments and scores goals. He’s clinical, he’s ruthless. He’s lifted the team and everyone around the club. Everyone is dreaming. They can dream and we’ll focus.”