Cristiano Ronaldo’s anticipated return to Manchester United with Juventus was an emotional occasion on Tuesday night.
The former Reds star was back at Old Trafford for only the second time since leaving the club in 2009 and, like the first occasion with Real Madrid five years ago, left on the winning side after Paulo Dybala’s first-half goal gave the Italians a 1-0 victory in the Champions League.
Ronaldo received a warm reception from United fans before, during and after the game, which he repaid by being the last person to leave the pitch as he took time to acknowledge the Red Army who adored him, with continuous waving and applauding, as the 'Viva Ronaldo' song that used to be regularly aired during his time here bellowed around the ground.
During his return to Old Trafford, Cristiano was reunited with a fellow legend – and his former boss – Sir Alex Ferguson.
Tweeting a picture of himself with his arm around Sir Alex, Ronaldo said:
“A great coach and above all a wonderful man. Taught me so many things inside and outside the pitch. Great to see you in good shape, Boss!”
A great coach and above all a wonderful man. Taught me so many things inside and outside the pitch. Great to see you in good shape, Boss! pic.twitter.com/Ql4dcuJvCW— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) October 24, 2018
Ronaldo, who has always shared a great relationship with his mentor even since leaving United, also sent a warm message of support to Sir Alex – who is still recovering after suffering a brain haemorrhage earlier this year – in his pre-match press conference on Monday.
The Portuguese international caught Ferguson’s eye at Sporting Lisbon and was brought to Old Trafford by the Scot in 2003, before going on to become arguably the world’s best player under Ferguson’s guidance.
He netted 118 goals in 292 games during six hugely successful years with the Reds, whom he helped to win nine trophies – including three Premier League titles and the Champions League, on that famous night in Moscow in May 2008.
WHAT THE FANS THOUGHT OF RONNY’S RETURN
A vast number of United fans were keen to show their love for Ronaldo – who, at the age of 33, could have made his final appearance at the Theatre of Dreams.
Some tweeted messages to welcome Ronny back to Old Trafford…