September 24, 2021

‘Dream big’ – Lingard shares Ronaldo then & now image showing duo some 18 years apart

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The England international was a starry-eyed youngster in the Red Devils’ academy when a Portuguese first arrived at Old Trafford

Jesse Lingard has urged every aspiring footballer to “dream big” when sharing a then and now image of him with Manchester United hero Cristiano Ronaldo.

The England international lined up alongside a five-time Ballon d’Or winner in a Premier League meeting with Newcastle as a Portuguese superstar made his return to Old Trafford.

That outing came 12 years after Ronaldo’s last for United and some 18 after his path first crossed with a starry-eyed youngster in the Red Devils’ academy system.

What has Lingard said?

The 28-year-old, who joined United’s youth ranks at the age of seven, has posted an inspirational message on social media after turning out in the same senior side as Ronaldo.

“Dream big kids,” he beamed on Twitter, having contributed United’s fourth goal in a comfortable 4-1 victory.

How long has Lingard been at Man Utd?

A promising youngster linked up with the Red Devils in 2000, with Ronaldo moving to Manchester as a talented teenager three years later.

It was during that initial stint with the Red Devils that the Portuguese first met Lingard.

It would be 2014 before a promising playmaker made his senior bow for United, with Ronaldo having moved on to Real Madrid by then.

Lingard took in a number of loan spells before making a breakthrough at his parent club, with another taken in last season at West Ham.

He has been absorbed back into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans in 2021-22, allowing him to turn out alongside Ronaldo.

What happened against Newcastle?

Lingard stepped off the bench in a meeting with the Magpies and saw 24 minutes of game time.

That was enough for him to get his name on the scoresheet, with a well-taken finish in stoppage-time putting the finishing touches to a 4-1 win.

Ronaldo had already netted twice by then, with the 36-year-old enjoying a dream second debut for United.

His presence is expected to carry United close to major honours this season, with Lingard and Co providing the depth in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad that the Red Devils are going to need in order to compete on multiple fronts.

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