The Portuguese marked his first appearance during a second spell at Old Trafford with a deadly double in a 4-1 win for the Red Devils
Cristiano Ronaldo admits it felt “magical” to be back at Manchester United’s “Theatre of Dreams”, with the Portuguse enjoying a two-goal second debut for the Red Devils against Newcastle.
The Portuguese was back in United’s famous No.7 jersey at Old Trafford on Saturday for the first time in 12 years.
He marked the occasion in style, with efforts either side of half-time helping Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side to a comfortable 4-1 win.
What has been said?
Ronaldo has said on social media: “My return to Old Trafford was just a brief reminder of why this stadium is known as the Theatre of Dreams.
“For me, it has always been a magical place where you can achieve everything you set your mind into.
“Along with all my team-mates 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 Man. United and playing in the Premier League once again, but above all, happy to help the team!
“Let’s go, Devils!”
The striker added to BBC Sport: “It is unbelievable. When I started the game I was so nervous, I swear. It is normally because I did not expect that they would sing my name all game. I was very nervous but maybe I didn’t show but I was. The reception is incredible but I am here to win games and help the team.
“It was unbelievable moment. I was super-nervous and was thinking last night that I wanted to play good and show I was still capable of helping the team. This club is unbelievable and I am so proud. I am going to give everything to make them proud of me.
“Everyone knows the football in England is different than in any part of the world and to be honest it is the most special one. I arrived here at 18 and they treated my unbelievable and that is why I am back.”
What did Solskjaer make of Ronaldo?
The United boss pulled off a stunning coup at the end of the summer transfer window when a five-time Ballon d’Or was lured away from Juventus and kept out of the clutches of arch-rivals Manchester City.
He trusted the 36-year-old frontman to impress from the start against Newcastle and saw that faith rewarded with quick reactions for Ronaldo’s first goal and a driving run and finish for his second.
Solskjaer told Sky Sports afterwards of his superstar striker: “Cristiano Ronaldo has developed into a fantastic goalscorer.
“He played a very good game, He dropped in, linked play well.”
Asked if leaving Ronaldo out of his starting XI was ever an option, the Norwegian said: “No. Of course not. This is what Cristiano is about. This was a day for everyone to enjoy.”
Is there more to come?
United’s victory took them to the top of the Premier League table, with Bruno Fernandes and Jesse Lingard getting in on the goal act alongside Ronaldo.
Two Portuguese stars illuminated Old Trafford and offered renewed hope to those in attendance that a five-year wait for major silverware could come to a close in 2022.
Solskjaer is not getting carried away just yet, but he is delighted to see the mood lifted in Manchester.
He said of the potential in a Fernandes and Ronaldo partnership: “Good players can always play together. They have a mutual respect and play for Portugal together.
“It’s too early for me to predict where we’ll end up. We have to be consistent and let’s see where we are.
“It’s changed [the atmosphere]. A few months back you think how it was here. This is what Man Utd supporters should feel like.”