It has taken Cristiano Ronaldo twelve years to wear the Manchester United jersey again, but only 46 minutes to know what it is to score again at the Theater of Dreams.
The prodigal son of the Red Devils, the man everyone was pining for before the match started in Manchester is back. Like it was never gone. As if time had stopped when in 2009 he decided to fly to Real Madrid to become a legend in the Spanish capital and become one of the best players in history.
His second Old Trafford debut, after the one produced in 2003, was the most remarkable show of the day and that’s why no one wanted to miss it in the city. Sir Alex Ferguson, his teacher, Jorge Mendes, Portuguese agent, Avram Glazer, owner of the team, and even Ryan Giggs, who has hardly been seen since he was accused of mistreatment, were present on the platform of the Theater of Dreams to not to miss the game.
Meanwhile, in the rest of the stadium, more than 70,000 people chanted the “Christian, Christian”, while their hero, the one who won the Champions League in 2008, the club’s last, and set a record for goals in the Premier, rubbed his hands on the pitch.
He had an initial disconnection, and that is that the first ball he touched served to end up on the ground in a failed shot, but, after that, Ronaldo was conjured to amuse the stands. Bicycles, shooting, facing and hungry for a goal. The ingredients that made him leave Manchester as the best and his hallmarks both in Madrid and in Turin.
He had returned to Old Trafford twice, in 2013 in a Champions League tie, and in 2018, with Juventus for the group stage, but never like this. Not even his almost signing with Manchester City caused any anger in the stands.
The goal, nothing spectacular, but always efficient, by taking advantage of a failure by Woodman, served as an introduction. But Cristiano doesn’t stop there. When his team was tied, it took six minutes to score again. “I have not come to be on vacation “, notice. And his performances already support him. In a team that has not won the Premier League for eight years and thirteen without touching the Champions League, Cristiano Ronaldo’s illusion is contagious. And necessary.