The relationship between Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United has been of mutual love and respect. We look forward to something similar when the forward arrives at Old Trafford today.
After Cristiano Ronaldo won the Euro 2016 with Portugal, a familiar face was waiting for him after the game. He stood on the edge of the staircase, from where the winners would descend to celebrate their triumph.
One would notice how patiently he waits for Cristiano Ronaldo, looking up everytime to see where he is. And one cannot feel, but only imagine his emotions at the moment.
A skinny boy of 18, whom Sir Alex Ferguson turned into one of the greatest footballers of our generation, conquered all that there is to be conquered. Cristiano Ronaldo may have moved ahead with his career and played for the club he loved as a child, but his admiration and gratitude towards his roots hadn’t diminished one bit. “Boss!” he exclaimed as soon as he saw his former Manchester United manager.
A proper father-son moment. Even when Ronaldo left the club in 2009, they maintained a relationship of mutual love and respect.
A similar display of love and respect is expected when Ronaldo returns to Old Trafford for the only second time in club football since his departure tonight.
Ronaldo arrived in Manchester in a 12.2 million pounds fee from Sporting Lisbon. He terrorized the Manchester United players in a pre-season game. Little did he know that it would turn out to be his audition to sign for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.
Quinton Fortune, a former Manchester United player, remembers the time when Ronaldo came for his introduction in the dressing room. “He walked in the changing room and basically told everyone he’s the best. Not in perfect English but you could make it out,” said Fortune as he recollected his days at United.
🎙 @Cristiano: “It is special for me to return to Manchester. Here I have many memories of victories and affection and in particular with Sir Alex Ferguson, to whom I send a big hug. He is a person who helped me so much.”#MUFCJuve #UCL #ForzaJuve
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) October 22, 2018
And he had performances on the field to back his claim. He made an instant impact, coming on as a substitute against Bolton Wanderers with game unconvincingly poised at 1-0. The side needed a spark, and Ronaldo provided exactly that. Manchester United emerged 4-0 winners in the end, and Sir Alex Ferguson was beaming. It became a regular feature for Manchester United ever since.
In 2008, Ronaldo won the Ballon d’Or – his first. In the same year, he won the FIFA World Player of the Year, UEFA Player of the Year and PFA Player of the Year, amongst other notable individual honors. All of this, at an age of 23, and moreover, playing most of the season as a winger and scoring 42 goals.
RE Ronaldo. Deserves as loud a standing ovation as possible from every United fan inside Old Trafford tonight, a true modern great, and then want to see our players hammer him like any other opposition player at Old Trafford. Recognition pre-kick off…then kicked off the park. pic.twitter.com/8ihNo9oSRa
— United Peoples TV (@UnitedPeoplesTV) October 23, 2018
A year later, he left the club for Real Madrid – the club he used to dream of playing since his childhood. His last season was significantly tough, as consistent flirtations with the Spanish club gained him a few critics at Manchester United. Yet, he finished with 26 goals throughout the competition.
Viva Ronaldo’, the celebrated chant which was lost in time, will be rejuvenated on Tuesday night. Old Trafford crowd would sing the Portuguese footballer’s name as he returns to his former home, just like they did five years ago.
‘Viva Ronaldo’, a chant which reminisces the Ronaldo in red. 2006-2009 in particular, where the Portuguese footballer established his legacy at the club. Ronaldo scored 90 goals across all competitions in the three seasons for Manchester United, including 42 in 2007/08.
“Viva Ronaldo’, the crowd was sing, as they remember the glorious past of the club, and the years of Ronaldo – where he establish himself as the best in the league, and the best in the world.