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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Man Utd release first photos of Ronaldo after shock return

Manchester United have published photos of Cristiano Ronaldo in the club’s new home shirt after his stunning return to the club.

The Red Devils confirmed the incredible move on Tuesday morning, with the five-time Ballon d’Or winner signing a £385,000-per-week, two-year contract at Old Trafford with an option to play until he’s 39.

United have splashed out £12.9million on the 36-year-old with £6.9m to follow in add-ons.

Ronaldo departed United in 2009 in a then-world record £80m transfer to Real Madrid. He won two LaLiga titles and four Champions League crowns in Spain where his personal duel alongside Lionel Messi enraptured football fans across the globe.

And now the club have given fans the images they’ve been waiting for, with six photos released of the 36-year-old in the new United home shirt for the 2021-22 season.

However, the club did not confirm Ronaldo’s new number, though he is widely tipped to take Edinson Cavani’s ‘iconic’ No 7 jersey.

Ronaldo said: “Manchester United is a club that has always had a special place in my heart, and I have been overwhelmed by all the messages I have received since the announcement on Friday.

“I cannot wait to play at Old Trafford in front of a full stadium and see all the fans again. I’m looking forward to joining up with the team after the international games, and I hope we have a very successful season ahead.

Ronaldo also took to Instagram on Tuesday morning, writing: “Everyone who knows me, knows about my never-ending love for Manchester United.

“The years I spent in this club where (sic) absolutely amazing and the path we’ve made together is written in gold letters in the history of this great and amazing institution.

“I can’t even start to explain my feelings right now, as I see my return to Old Trafford announced worldwide.

“It’s like a dream come true, after all the times that I went back to play against Man. United, and even as an opponent, to have always felt such love and respect from the supporters in the stands. This is absolutely 100% the stuff that dreams are made of!

“My first domestic League, my first Cup, my first call to the Portuguese National team, my first Champions League, my first Golden Boot and my first Ballon d’Or, they were all born from this special connection between me and the Red Devils.

“History has been written in the past and history will be written once again! You have my word!

“I’m right here! I’m back where I belong! Let’s make it happen once again! PS – Sir Alex, this one is for you…”

Ronaldo is currently on international duty with Portugal, where they will play Ireland and Azerbaijan in World Cup qualifying and Qatar in a friendly.

He should be in line to make his second United debut on September 11 against Newcastle at Old Trafford.

In his first spell at United, Ronaldo won three Premier League titles, one Champions League, one FA Cup and two League Cups.

He scored 84 Premier League goals and will be widely tipped to reach the ‘100 club’ before the 2020-21 season is out.

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