Cristiano Ronaldo’s first goal on Man Utd return in pictures
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Cristiano Ronaldo got off to a flying start for Manchester United on his return to the club at the weekend, scoring twice in the 4-1 win over Newcastle. Goals are exactly what Ronaldo thrives off and he will no doubt be looking to get off the mark in the Champions League this evening.
United begin their European campaign with an away trip to face Young Boys tonight (5.45pm BST).
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has named a strong squad for the match with Ronaldo travelling to Switzerland.
Edinson Cavani misses out again with a small issue, meaning Ronaldo may well play from the start again.
Solskjaer has already admitted that he will need to manage Ronaldo’s minutes though, suggesting the iconic forward will skip a few games.
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“The thing with Cristiano is that he looks after himself so much so I know he will recover quickly and he has had a pre-season,” Solskjaer said.
“Of course it’s important that we get everyone up and running and to get him up and running and to give him 90 minutes.
“Of course there is a game on Tuesday (against Young Boys). We will see what we do. But no, it’s not impossible to leave him out. He is 36, Mason [Greenwood] is 19, so it’s the same, I have to manage his minutes, and I have to manage a 36-year-old’s minutes as well.”
But Ronaldo may well be pushing to play as many minutes as possible in Europe due to his love affair with the competition.
The Portuguese superstar won his first Champions League in 2008 with United before moving to Real Madrid one year later, where he would pick up four more European crowns.
Only Bernabeu legend Francisco Gento (six) has won more than Ronaldo’s tally of five.
While a sixth Champions League title will undoubtedly be on Ronaldo’s wishlist, he may also have his eyes on a specific United record held by Ruud van Nistelrooy.
Ronaldo already holds the title for most goals scored in a single Champions League campaign with 17, but he doesn’t have the club record at United.
Van Nistelrooy currently holds that honour having bagged 12 goals in just nine matches in the 2002-03 campaign.
The last time Ronaldo bettered that tally in Europe was back in the 2017/18 season as his 15 goals helped Real lift the Champions League title.
He was less successful at Juventus with the Italian side failing to progress past the last-16 stage in the last two seasons.
But Ronaldo may well have to force Solskjaer’s hand into starting him against Young Boys with the United boss keen to keep the striker fit and ready.
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