Man City Hit Leipzig For Six In Champions League

Manchester City’s Dutch defender Nathan Ake (L) celebrates scoring his team’s first goal with his teammates during the UEFA Champions League 1st round Group A football match between Manchester City and RB Leipzig at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on September 15, 2021. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Jack Grealish scored a superb first Champions League goal as Manchester City survived Christopher Nkunku’s hat-trick to beat RB Leipzig 6-3 in a pulsating Group A opener on Wednesday.

Grealish admits the lure of playing on the Champions League stage convinced him to leave his boyhood club Aston Villa to join City in a club record £100 million ($138 million) move in the close-season.

The England winger made the most of his first taste of the tournament’s bright lights with a brilliant solo effort in the second half at the Etihad Stadium.

Grealish also set up City’s first goal for Nathan Ake with a pin-point corner.

While City were snubbed by Cristiano Ronaldo when the Portugal superstar opted to join Manchester United, Pep Guardiola believes the younger Grealish is more than ample compensation and this influential display underlined why.

Nordi Mukiele’s own goal had doubled City’s lead before Nkunku got one back on a memorable personal evening for the French winger.

Riyad Mahrez’s penalty made it 3-1 and Nkunku netted again before Grealish’s moment of magic.

Nkunku’s third was followed by Joao Cancelo’s rocket and a red card for Leipzig’s former City defender Angelino.

Gabriel Jesus rounded off the goal-spree as City celebrated Guardiola’s 300th game in charge in fitting style.

There was more good news for Guardiola as Kevin De Bruyne impressed in his first game back from the ankle injury which had sidelined him since August 15.

Guardiola led City to their first Champions League final last season, but the Premier League champions were denied a maiden European Cup crown in a limp 1-0 loss against Chelsea.

Guardiola insists that defeat will serve as the “motor” driving City’s challenge this term and they wasted little time seizing pole position in Group A.

READ ALSO: Young Boys Stun Man United In Champions League Clash

Grealish shines 

Manchester City’s English midfielder Jack Grealish looks on during the UEFA Champions League 1st round Group A football match between Manchester City and RB Leipzig at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on September 15, 2021. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

City were ahead in the 16th minute as Grealish’s corner found Ake and he rose highest for a powerful header that Peter Gulacsi tipped onto the crossbar, only to see it bounce down over the goal-line.

It was Ake’s first City goal since September 2020 and his first ever in the Champions League.

City doubled their lead thanks to Mukiele’s comical blunder in the 28th minute.

De Bruyne tenaciously eluded three Leipzig players and curled a sublime cross towards Grealish that the panicked Mukiele diverted into his own net as he tried to head back to Gulacsi.

Nkunku punished sloppy defending to give the visitors hope in the 42nd minute.

When Emil Forsberg’s cross reached Mukiele at the far post, Ake was guilty of ball-watching as the Leipzig defender nodded towards Nkunku, who dispatched his header past Ederson.

Suitably chastened, City hit back in first half stoppage-time when Lukas Klostermann blocked Ferran Torres’ header with his out-stretched arm and Mahrez smashed the spot-kick into the top corner.

Their defensive flaws remained alarming and Leipzig reduced the deficit again in the 51st minute.

Dani Olmo’s floated cross found Nkunku left unmarked by Ake and he thumped a fierce header past Ederson.

Grealish appeared to have settled City’s nerves in the 56th minute.

Cutting in from the left, Grealish left Tyler Adams trailing in his wake as he curled a brilliant finish into the far corner.

Nkunku completed his hat-trick with a predatory close-range strike from a tight angle in the 73rd minute.

But Cancelo quashed any hopes of a Leipzig fightback two minutes later when he grabbed City’s fifth with a thunderous drive from 25 yards

Angelino was dismissed in the 79th minute for a crude foul on Cancelo and Jesus tapped in six minutes later to put the seal on a memorable evening.

AFP

Man Utd Dealt Shock Champions League Loss As Lukaku Boosts Chelsea

Manchester United’s French midfielder Paul Pogba (L) reacts after Young Boys’ US forward Jordy Siebatcheu Pefok (unseen) scored a goal during the UEFA Champions League Group F football match between Young Boys and Manchester United at Wankdorf stadium in Bern, on September 14, 2021. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)

 

Manchester United slumped to a shock 2-1 loss at Young Boys despite a goal from Cristiano Ronaldo in their Champions League opener on Tuesday, while Chelsea kicked off their title defence by beating Zenit.

Robert Lewandowski struck twice for Bayern Munich as the German heavyweights inflicted a 3-0 defeat on Barcelona at Camp Nou in their first European game since the departure of Lionel Messi.

Ronaldo, the leading scorer in Champions League history, bagged his 135th goal in the competition after 13 minutes in Bern, but Swiss champions Young Boys hit back after the sending-off of Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

The United defender saw red for a dangerous tackle on Christopher Martins before half-time. Nicolas Moumi Ngamaleu equalised in the second half before Jordan Siebatcheu snatched the winner with the final kick.

“It’s the first game in the group. We’ve got many games to bounce back and we must do,” said United captain Harry Maguire.

“We’ll try and pick up three points in our next game and build momentum from there.”

United host Villarreal in two weeks. The Spaniards, who beat Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men in last season’s Europa League final, drew 2-2 at home to Atalanta in the other Group F match.

Remo Freuler gave Atalanta the lead but Villarreal responded with goals from Manu Trigueros and Arnaut Danjuma. Robin Gosens popped up with a late equaliser.

Romelu Lukaku broke the deadlock for Chelsea after 69 minutes at Stamford Bridge to earn the holders a 1-0 victory over Zenit, whose Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg is the venue for next May’s final.

Lukaku headed in Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross to give Thomas Tuchel’s team a winning start in Group H.

“The guys who are there to score regularly for their teams are so important because one goal changes the whole momentum of the match,” Tuchel said of Lukaku.

Juventus top the section after the opening round following their 3-0 win away to Malmo of Sweden.

Bayern roll Barca aside

Alex Sandro headed Juve ahead and Paulo Dybala converted a penalty before Alvaro Morata notched a third for a side that has picked up just one point from three games in Serie A.

Bayern stretched their record unbeaten away run in the Champions League to 19 games by sweeping aside Barca in the first meeting between the clubs since the Germans triumphed 8-2 in a one-off quarter-final last year.

Thomas Mueller put Bayern on top on 34 minutes and Lewandowski netted twice in the second half to send Julian Nagelsmann’s side top of Group E.

“We came to win this game and we knew that we had to show respect to Barcelona,” said Lewandowski.

“When you play at the Camp Nou against them they are always dangerous. But we had this game under control and we showed we were here for the three points.”

Dynamo Kiev had to settle for a 0-0 draw at home to Benfica after Ukraine international Mykola Shaparenko’s injury-time effort was ruled out for offside.

Sevilla rode their luck in an eventful 1-1 draw against Salzburg.

The Austrians missed two of three first-half penalties, with Karim Adeyemi firing wide from the spot and Luka Sucic hitting the post having earlier converted Salzburg’s second penalty.

Ivan Rakitic levelled for Sevilla with another spot-kick before the interval. Youssef En-Nesyri was sent off early in the second period for the home side.

“It was a very strange game. When you have three penalties against you, a red card, I think you have to be happy with a draw,” said Rakitic.

“I think it’s a record, three penalties (conceded) in 36 minutes, I don’t think it’s ever happened to me.”

French champions Lille and Bundesliga leaders Wolfsburg drew 0-0 to leave all Group G teams level on one point.

AFP

Ronaldo Rolls Back The Years With Dream Double On Man Utd Return

A supporter holds up a lifesized cut-out of Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Newcastle at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on September 11, 2021. – Manchester United won the game 4-1. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)

 

Cristiano Ronaldo enjoyed a dream return as a Manchester United player by scoring twice as the Red Devils beat Newcastle 4-1 in front of a rocking Old Trafford on Saturday.

Ronaldo now has 120 United goals to his name, but scored his first since leaving for Real Madrid 12 years ago to take Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men top of the Premier League table.

“He’s still a ruthless and clinical goalscorer,” said Solskjaer. “He smells the big moments when there is a goal in there.”

United were made to work harder than expected for the three points, but were able to rely on Ronaldo’s predatory instincts to strike twice either side of Javier Manquillo’s well-worked equaliser for the Magpies.

Bruno Fernandes then sealed a day where Portuguese stars shone with a stunning long-range effort 10 minutes from time before Jesse Lingard rounded off the scoring in stoppage time.

United’s fortunes on the field have declined dramatically since Ronaldo’s departure with no Premier League or Champions League success since Alex Ferguson retired as manager in 2013.

 

Manchester United’s French midfielder Paul Pogba gestures as he leaves after the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Newcastle at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on September 11, 2021. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) 

 

His return was enough to generate a feverish atmosphere among 74,000 in attendance not seen at Old Trafford for many years.

The 36-year-old was serenaded with songs in his honour long before kick-off and even received celebrations of the goals he scored in a shooting drill in the warm-up.

“The atmosphere has been electric around the club,” added Solskjaer. “The supporters have really enjoyed the last 10 days or so. There was loads of expectation on him and the team and he’s delivered.”

Ronaldo’s arrival has added even more firepower to an already loaded selection of attacking options on offer to Solskjaer.

Jadon Sancho and Mason Greenwood flanked Ronaldo in a front three with Fernandes and Paul Pogba supplying the ammunition from midfield.

 

Manchester United’s Norwegian manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (R) congratulates Manchester United’s English midfielder Jesse Lingard (L) after the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Newcastle at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on September 11, 2021. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)

 

The crowd who had come for a party were starting to get restless as Newcastle held out relatively comfortably until Ronaldo’s first big moment arrived in first-half stoppage time.

Greenwood had scored in all of United’s first three Premier League games and provided the spark once more as Freddie Woodman spilled his deflected effort and the ball fell perfectly for Ronaldo to smash home.

Rather than opening the floodgates for a comfortable win, Newcastle emerged for the second-half with a far more potent threat and cut United open to stun the home support 10 minutes into the second-half.

 

Newcastle United’s Spanish midfielder Javier Manquillo celebrates after scoring their first goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Newcastle at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on September 11, 2021. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)

 

Miguel Almiron burst through midfield and released Allan Saint-Maximin, who rolled the ball perfectly into the path of Manquillo to slot home his first Newcastle goal in 85 appearances.

United on the other hand now have one of the deadliest finishers in the history of the game and Ronaldo ensured the day would be all about him on 62 minutes.

Despite his advancing years, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner showed no shortage of pace to burst away from Isaac Hayden to latch onto Luke Shaw’s pass and his powerful strike went straight through Woodman’s grasp.

Fernandes has been United’s talisman for the majority of the 20 months since he joined from Sporting Lisbon, just as Ronaldo did in 2003.

And the midfielder ensured he was not completely overshadowed by his compatriot with a sensational strike into the top corner from Paul Pogba’s pass.

 

Manchester United’s English midfielder Jesse Lingard (L) celebrates with teammates after scoring their fourth goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Newcastle at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on September 11, 2021. – Manchester United won the game 4-1. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) 

 

“Everyone knows what Cristiano means for the club, what he means for the world of football,” said Fernandes. “We are really happy to have him, but the most important thing is the team performance. At the end we got the result we want.”

 

Manchester United’s English midfielder Jesse Lingard runs through the Newcastle defence on his way to scoring their fourth goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Newcastle at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England, on September 11, 2021. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)

 

Pogba now has seven assists in four games this season as he also created the fourth for Lingard as the English international turned onto the Frenchman’s pass and curled into the far corner.

Cristiano Ronaldo Opens The Scoring On Manchester United Return Against Newcastle

Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Newcastle at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on September 11, 2021. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)

 

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 119th Manchester United goal and first for 12 years to open the scoring against Newcastle on Saturday to get his second spell with the Red Devils off to a flying start.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner tapped home in first-half stoppage time after Newcastle goalkeeper Freddie Woodman could only parry Mason Greenwood’s shot.

Ronaldo had been afforded a hero’s welcome before kick-off on his return to Old Trafford after securing a move from Juventus last month.

The Portuguese made his name as a world star in six years at United between 2003 and 2009, during which he won the Champions League, three Premier League titles and was first crowned the world’s best player.

 

Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo shoots to score their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Newcastle at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on September 11, 2021. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)

 

Ronaldo even received huge cheers for every goal he scored in the warm-up, but it was far from plain sailing for United in the first 45 minutes against the Magpies.

Ronaldo was joined by Jadon Sancho, Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba in a fearsome front five.

But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men looked disjointed as they struggled to bed Ronaldo back into the English game against a stubborn Newcastle defence.

However, the 36-year-old showed why he continues to smash goalscoring records with a predatory finish from close range after Greenwood’s deflected effort slipped through the grasp of Woodman.

 

Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Newcastle at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on September 11, 2021. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)

 

Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo (R) celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Newcastle at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England, on September 11, 2021. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)

 

Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Newcastle at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England, on September 11, 2021. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)

 

 

Details soon…

Ronaldo To Make Second Man Utd Debut Against Newcastle

A cardboard cut out of new signing Cristiano Ronaldo is held by Manchester United supporters during the English Premier League football match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United at the Molineux stadium in Wolverhampton, central England on August 29, 2021. Oli SCARFF / AFP
In this file photo, a cardboard cut out of new signing Cristiano Ronaldo is held by Manchester United supporters during the English Premier League football match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United at the Molineux Stadium in Wolverhampton, central England on August 29, 2021. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed Cristiano Ronaldo will make his first Manchester United appearance since his blockbuster move from Juventus when Newcastle visit Old Trafford on Saturday.

Portugal superstar Ronaldo returned to United in a shock transfer just before the transfer deadline.

The 36-year-old striker, who left United to join Real Madrid in 2009, has been training with his new team-mates for the past few days.

United manager Solskjaer confirmed on Friday that Ronaldo would play at least some part in the Premier League clash with Newcastle but it remains to be seen whether the five-time Ballon d’Or winner will start or come off the bench.

“He’s been having a good pre-season with Juventus, he’s played for the national team, he’s had a good week with us here,” Solskjaer said.

“He will definitely be on the pitch at some point, that’s for sure.”

Ronaldo won three Premier League titles and the Champions League during six trophy-laden years with United, before going on to shine with Real and Juventus.

His status as one of the world’s all-time greats is unquestioned, but initially it seemed United would miss out on a reunion with their former star when Manchester City moved to sign him.

Ronaldo said his relationship with former United manager Alex Ferguson played a key role in convincing him to return to Old Trafford.

Solskjaer, who played with Ronaldo during his first spell at the club, said: “Of course we’ve followed his career from afar since he left here and I think everyone’s very happy to have him back.

“He can speak for himself but he seems like he’s happy to be back as well.

“The mood’s been very good, he’s worked well and we’re looking forward to Saturday, of course.”

READ ALSOFIFA ‘Regrets’ Chaos At Abandoned Brazil vs Argentina Match

Fifa To Make Decision On Biennial World Cup ‘By End Of Year’ – Infantino

‘No place to hide’ 

Fergusson retired from Manchester United in 2013. Photo: Instagram/Manchester United.

 

Ronaldo’s return to Manchester came after Solskjaer had already strengthened his squad with swoops for England forward Jadon Sancho and France defender Raphael Varane.

United will be expected to challenge champions Manchester City for the title after such a productive transfer window.

Solskjaer believes Ronaldo will add a higher level of quality to the squad, both physically and mentally, as they look to win the first trophy of the Norwegian’s reign.

“We have grown as a group the last few years. The determination, the desire, the focus has improved over time and bit by bit,” he said.

“Even like bringing Raphael (Varane) in, he’s come in with a winner’s mentality, an unbelievable focus.

“Then of course Cristiano comes in as well and there’s no place to hide when you’ve got winners like them. You can’t go into training and give 95 percent or not being focused.”

As a former Manchester United player, Newcastle boss Steve Bruce appreciates what an emotional afternoon it will be for Ronaldo and the club’s supporters on Saturday.

“The goals he’s scored at every club he’s played for is quite remarkable,” Bruce said.

“That, quite rightly in my opinion, makes him the best player in the world. It’s a terrific signing by Manchester United.

“It’s quite an incredible story of him going back and I’m sure they could have sold out Old Trafford 10 times over if they wished.”

AFP

Ronaldo Makes Man Utd Return As Arteta Seeks Arsenal Salvation

Manchester United’s new signing Cristiano Ronaldo arrives to attend a training session at the Carrington training ground in greater Manchester, north west England on September 8, 2021. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)

 

 

Cristiano Ronaldo will make an eagerly anticipated second debut for Manchester United on Saturday while Arsenal aims to get themselves off the foot of the Premier League table.

Ronaldo made his name as a global star in six trophy-filled years with United between 2003-2009 before leaving for Real Madrid in a then world record move.

The Portuguese superstar returns to Manchester as a 36-year-old with five Ballon d’Or crowns and five Champions League titles to his name, but still with an unquenchable thirst for goals.

After winning the Golden Boot at Euro 2020 and in Serie A for Juventus last season, Ronaldo set another personal record by becoming the top goalscorer in the history of international football last week.

However, United, who host Newcastle on Saturday, are no longer the all-conquering side he left under Alex Ferguson.

Since Ferguson’s retirement in 2013, the Red Devils have failed to seriously challenge for the Premier League title.

But Ronaldo’s international and now club teammate Bruno Fernandes believes the whole squad will be inspired by playing alongside one of the best players of all time.

“We know the enthusiasm will be red hot,” said Fernandes. “Everyone knows Cristiano is in the house.

“Everyone is very confident and happy that he is back, the players too.

“We know what he can give us, and our focus, like Cristiano’s, is to win. With him, we know we are closer to winning (trophies).”

After a promising start, with seven points from their opening three games, United are in a bunch of five sides, two points behind leaders Tottenham.

 

A young fan wearing the shirt of Manchester United’s new signing Cristiano Ronaldo points to Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, northwest England on September 6, 2021. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)

 

Brazilian bans
United are one of five Premier League clubs set to be affected by a ban for Brazilian internationals, who were not released to play for their country due to strict coronavirus rules.

Premier League clubs announced they would not release players for internationals in countries on the UK’s red list for travel, which would have meant players having to spend 10 days quarantine in a government-mandated hotel on their return.

The Brazilian football association (CBF) said it had asked global governing body FIFA to invoke regulations that bar players for five days after an international break if they are not released by their clubs.

Fred could miss United’s clash with Newcastle and Tuesday’s Champions League trip to Young Boys.

Liverpool and Manchester City are more badly affected, with their first-choice goalkeepers likely to be absent.

Alisson Becker, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino are set to miss the Reds’ trip to Leeds, who themselves will be without Raphinha.

City may be forced into handing a start to 36-year-old third-choice ‘keeper Scott Carson if Ederson is banned, with Zack Steffen also absent after testing positive for coronavirus.

Will Arsenal finally fire?
Arsenal find themselves in a bottom-of-the-table clash against newly promoted Norwich at the Emirates after the Gunners’ worst start to a league season for 67 years.

Mikel Arteta’s position as manager is under increasing threat, with the Spaniard reportedly given four more Premier League games to save his job.

The visit of the Canaries should be just what Arteta’s men need to get their season back on course after a difficult start.

Arsenal have faced defending champions City and Champions League winners Chelsea in their opening three games and have also been hit by a coronavirus outbreak and injuries to key players.

“Let’s judge the team when they play together,” said Arsenal’s technical director Edu this week.

With all of Arteta’s six new signings at a cost of £150 million ($207 million) now available and the return of Thomas Partey from injury, the time for excuses in running out.

Fixtures

Saturday (1400 GMT unless stated)

Crystal Palace v Tottenham (1130), Arsenal v Norwich, Brentford v Brighton, Leicester v Manchester City, Manchester United v Newcastle, Southampton v West Ham, Watford v Wolves, Chelsea v Aston Villa (1630)

Sunday

Leeds v Liverpool (1530)

Monday

Everton v Burnley (1900)

Ronaldo To Wear No.7 Shirt At Manchester United

In this file photo taken on January 01, 2008 Manchester United’s Portuguese midfielder Cristiano Ronaldo prepares to take a free kick against Birmingham City during their English Premiership football match at Old Trafford in Manchester, north-west England, 01 January 2008. PAUL ELLIS / AFP

 

Cristiano Ronaldo will wear Manchester United’s iconic number seven again after Edinson Cavani agreed to surrender the shirt.

Ronaldo followed in a long list of United legends to have worn number seven during his first spell with United from 2003 to 2009.

The 36-year-old rejoined United from Juventus last week, but Cavani had the number seven at the start of this season, raising the possibility of Ronaldo having to don a different shirt.

But Cavani has agreed to swap to 21 — the number the veteran striker wears for Uruguay — so Ronaldo can reclaim his old jersey.

It had been reported a club would needed special dispensation from the Premier League to process the switch following the start of the domestic campaign.

“Manchester United can confirm that Cristiano Ronaldo will wear the iconic no.7 shirt after returning to Old Trafford,” the club said on their website.

READ ALSORonaldo Breaks All-Time International Scoring Record With 111th Portugal Goal

Portugal’s forward Cristiano Ronaldo (2ndR) celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 European qualifying round group A football match between Portugal and Republic of Ireland at the Algarve stadium in Loule, near Faro, southern Portugal, on September 1, 2021. (Photo by CARLOS COSTA / AFP)

 

In his first stint with United after signing from Sporting Lisbon, Ronaldo scored 118 goals and won nine trophies, including three Premier League titles and the UEFA Champions League.

Ronaldo, who left United for Real Madrid 12 years ago, is set to make his second debut in the Premier League match against Newcastle on September 11.

George Best, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona and David Beckham are among the other United stars to have worn the famous number seven.

On Wednesday, Ronaldo broke the men’s international scoring record with a late double as Portugal came from behind to beat the Republic of Ireland 2-1.

AFP

Ronaldo Says Ferguson Was Key To His Man Utd Return

Ferguson retired from Manchester United in 2013. Photo: Instagram/Manchester United.

 

Cristiano Ronaldo revealed his relationship with former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson played the key role in convincing the Portuguese to return to Old Trafford.

Ferguson retired as boss of the Red Devils in 2013, four years after Ronaldo departed for Real Madrid in a then world record £80 million move.

However, he remains a club ambassador and confidant of current United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who also played under Ferguson for many years.

Ronaldo looked set for a return to England with Premier League champions Manchester City last week until Ferguson and a host of his former United teammates intervened to reportedly inform him that such a move risked his legacy at the club where he became a world star.

“For me, Sir Alex Ferguson is like a father in football for me,” Ronaldo told the United website.

“He helped me a lot, he taught me many things, and in my opinion of course he had a big role because the relationship that we had, we keep in touch all the time, and he’s an unbelievable person.

“I really like him a lot and he was the main key for me to be in the position that I am, that I signed for Manchester United.”

READ ALSO: Ronaldo Completes Man Utd Medical
Atletico Madrid Welcome Back Griezmann As Real Sign Camavinga

‘The Best Decision’

In this file photo taken on January 01, 2008 Manchester United’s Portuguese midfielder Cristiano Ronaldo prepares to take a free kick against Birmingham City during their English Premiership football match at Old Trafford in Manchester, north-west England, 01 January 2008. PAUL ELLIS / AFP

 

During his first spell in Manchester, Ronaldo won the first of five Champions League and Ballon d’Or titles, as well as three Premier League winner’s medals, scoring 118 goals in 292 games.

However, United’s fortunes have declined since Ferguson’s retirement.

The English giants have not won the Premier League since 2013 and their last Champions League triumph came when Ronaldo scored against Chelsea in the 2008 final.

Ronaldo will turn 37 in February, but he insists he can still spearhead another era of glory at Old Trafford.

“I think it’s the best decision that I have made it,” added Ronaldo on his move from Juventus.

“It’s a new chapter, I’m so happy and glad, and I want to carry on again, to make history, to try to help Manchester achieve great results, to win trophies.”

Ronaldo is expected to make his second United debut at home to Newcastle on September 11.

AFP

Manchester United Confirm Cavani To Miss Uruguay World Cup Games

Manchester United’s Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani warms up ahead of the English Premier League football match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United at the Molineux stadium in Wolverhampton, central England on August 29, 2021.
Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Manchester United confirmed on Monday that Edinson Cavani will miss Uruguay’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador after his call-up was withdrawn by the Uruguayan Football Association.

The Premier League announced last week that its clubs will not release players for international matches played in countries on the United Kingdom government’s red-list for travel.

Players who do travel to red-list countries on international duty have not been given an exemption from quarantine on their return so would have to spend 10 days in a government-allocated hotel.

“Manchester United forward Edinson Cavani is set to remain in England during the international break, after his call-up for the Uruguay squad was withdrawn,” United said in a statement.

A further complication for South American internationals is that the third round of qualifiers is due to take place on Thursday, September 9, just hours before many are supposed to be in action for their clubs.

Spain’s La Liga failed in an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) over the weekend for clubs to be able to refuse to release their players after FIFA extended the window for international games by two days.

CONMEBOL, the South American football confederation, is trying to make up for lost time after March’s World Cup qualifiers were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite the united stance of Premier League clubs last week, Aston Villa have allowed Argentine duo Emiliano Martinez and Emiliano Buendia to travel on the agreement they miss their country’s third qualifier against Bolivia.

Tottenham’s Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso were also pictured on social media travelling with Martinez and Buendia.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said on Friday his players affected will not be travelling as the quarantine conditions could see them miss multiple games.

Brazilian trio Alisson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino and Egypt’s Mohamed Salah are therefore not set to travel.

“It’s not even close to a spa hotel, it’s eating and waiting and sleeping,” said Klopp.

“As the clubs we cannot do that not only because we play games in that time but because without being positive (for coronavirus) they lose 10 days of training.

“Without any chance of moving you lose muscle. I’s a real risk for the boys if they have to then play three, four or five days after 10 days in quarantine.”

-AFP

Ronaldo Completes Man Utd Medical

FILE: Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo warms up prior to the Italian Serie A football match Bologna vs Juventus Turin on May 23, 2021 at the Renato-Dall’Ara stadium in Bologna.
ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP

 

Cristiano Ronaldo has completed his Manchester United medical as he inches closer to a return to Old Trafford, Sky Sports reported on Monday.

Manchester United on Friday had announced that they had reached agreement with Juventus for the transfer of Ronaldo, subject to agreement of personal terms, visa and medical.

He is expected to fire the Red Devils back to the top of the English and European game.

Ronaldo had arrived at United as a skinny 18-year-old from Sporting Lisbon in 2003 with a bag of tricks.

READ ALSO: Messi Makes PSG Debut As Mbappe Steals The Show

In six years under the tutelage of Alex Ferguson his physique and end product were transformed to lead United to three Premier League titles and Ferguson’s final Champions League in 2008.

However, even United could not resist Ronaldo’s desire to move to Spain when Real Madrid offered a then world record £80 million ($110 million) in 2009.

A cardboard cut out of new signing Cristiano Ronaldo is held by Manchester United supporters during the English Premier League football match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United at the Molineux stadium in Wolverhampton, central England on August 29, 2021. Oli SCARFF / AFP
A cardboard cut out of new signing Cristiano Ronaldo is held by Manchester United supporters during the English Premier League football match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United at the Molineux stadium in Wolverhampton, central England on August 29, 2021. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Real were more than rewarded with nine years of Ronaldo in his prime.

He smashed the club’s all-time goalscoring record at a rate of more than a goal a game, netting 450 times in 438 appearances.

After ending Real’s long-wait for “La Decima”, the club’s 10th European Cup, he spearheaded a run of three consecutive Champions League wins between 2016 and 2018.

That is what United are looking for an ageing Ronaldo to repeat.

The club he returns to is different to the all-conquering behemoth he left behind.

United have not won a league title since Ferguson left in 2013 and have failed to even qualify for the Champions League regularly in the intervening years.

Progress has been made in the nearly three years since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho, but the Norwegian is still to win a trophy as United boss and they finished a distant second to Manchester City in the Premier League last season.

Man United Agree Deal With Juventus To Re-sign Ronaldo

 

 

Manchester United announced on Friday they have reached a deal to re-sign Cristiano Ronaldo from Juventus, 12 years after he left Old Trafford for Real Madrid.

“Manchester United is delighted to confirm that the club has reached an agreement with Juventus for the transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo, subject to agreement of personal terms, visa and medical,” United said in a statement.

“Everyone at the club looks forward to welcoming Cristiano back to Manchester.”

United’s swoop capped a tumultuous 24 hours during which Ronaldo initially seemed poised to join rivals Manchester City.

Premier League champions City had been widely linked with a move for the Portuguese forward after missing out on England captain Harry Kane.

However, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hinted a deal was in the offing during his pre-match press conference on Friday ahead of Sunday’s Premier League trip to Wolves.

“Cristiano is a legend of this club, he’s the greatest player of all time, if you ask me,” said Solskjaer, who played alongside Ronaldo.

“We’ve always had good communication. I know Bruno (Fernandes) has been talking to him as well. He knows what we feel about him. If he was ever going to move from Juventus, he knows that we’re here.”

Sky Sport Italia reported that United have offered Juve 28 million euros ($33 million), agreeing a two-year deal with the superstar attacker worth 25 million euros per season.

Ronaldo won the first of his five Champions League titles and was first crowned the world’s best player during six years at United between 2003 and 2009.

 

(FILES) In this file photo taken on January 01, 2008 Manchester United’s Portuguese midfielder Cristiano Ronaldo prepares to take a free-kick against Birmingham City during their English Premiership football match at Old Trafford in Manchester, north-west England, 
PAUL ELLIS / AFP

 

In total he scored 118 goals in 292 games, also winning three Premier League titles, one FA Cup and two League Cups.

Earlier in the day, Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri confirmed the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s desire to leave the Italian giants.

“Yesterday, speaking with Cristiano, he told me that he has no intention of staying at Juventus, for this reason, he will not be picked tomorrow. This morning he didn’t train,” said Allegri.

“He was here three years, he made his contribution, he made himself available to Juventus and now he’s leaving. Life goes on.”

Ronaldo won two Serie A titles with Juventus, but his time in Turin has not lived up to expectations.

He joined 2018 after scoring a remarkable 450 goals in 438 matches in a glittering nine-year spell in Madrid that also included four Champions League triumphs.

Juventus’ hopes he would be the final piece required to end their 25-year wait to become champions of Europe have been thwarted.

They have failed to get beyond the quarter-finals in the past three seasons.

Last season, they were deposed as Italian champions by fierce rivals Inter Milan and had to wait until the final day of the campaign to secure qualification for Europe’s top club competition.

However, Ronaldo still topped the Serie A goal charts, edging out Romelu Lukaku, who joined Chelsea this month for £97 million.

And he also rolled back the years at Euro 2020 to win the Golden Boot despite playing just four games as Portugal bowed out at the last 16.

United have already significantly strengthened their squad with the signings of Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane during the transfer window as they aim to win the Premier League for the first time since 2013.

Ronaldo joins an already loaded group of attacking options for Solskjaer featuring Fernandes, Sancho, Edinson Cavani, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood and Paul Pogba.

-AFP

Man Utd Lead Race For Ronaldo As Man City Interest Cools

File COMBO of Ronaldo, Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola and Manchester United boss, Ole-Gunner Solksjaer

 

Manchester United moved to the front of the race to re-sign Cristiano Ronaldo on Friday after Manchester City reportedly withdrew their interest in the 36-year-old.

Earlier in the day, Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri confirmed the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s desire to leave the Italian giants.

Premier League champions City had been widely linked with a move for the Portuguese forward after missing out on England captain Harry Kane.

However, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hinted the Red Devils could make a late swoop to bring Ronaldo back to Old Trafford.

Ronaldo won the first of his five Champions League titles and was first crowned the world’s best player during six years at United between 2003 and 2009.

“Cristiano has been a legend of this club, he is a legend of this club, he’s the greatest player of all time if you ask me,” said Solskjaer, who played alongside Ronaldo.

“I didn’t think Cristiano was going turn out leaving Juventus. It’s been speculation the last few days, of course.

“We’ve always had good communication. I know Bruno (Fernandes) has been talking to him as well. He knows what we feel about him. If he was ever going to move from Juventus, he knows that we’re here.”

 

 City pull out

 

Manchester City’s Spanish manager Pep Guardiola looks on from the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Norwich City at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, northwest England, on August 21, 2021.
Adrian DENNIS / AFP

 

 

City seemed to be in pole position to land what would have been the biggest signing in the club’s history as they look for a replacement for Sergio Aguero.

However, according to reports in England, they have now withdrawn their interest.

City manager Pep Guardiola insisted he will be happy with his squad even if they do not add another striker before the end of Tuesday’s transfer deadline.

“Cristiano will decide where he wants to play, not Manchester City or myself. Right now it looks far, far away,” said Guardiola.

“These types of players decide. They knock on the door, they call, and after there are situations I cannot control. It is not my business.”

United will still have to reach an agreement with Juventus.

Ronaldo’s contract in Turin running until 2022 and the Italians are reportedly holding out for a transfer fee in the region of 25 million euros ($29 million, £21 million).

“Yesterday, speaking with Cristiano, he told me that he has no intention of staying at Juventus, for this reason, he will not be picked tomorrow. This morning he didn’t train,” Allegri told reporters ahead of Juve’s Serie A match against Empoli on Saturday.

“He was here three years, he made his contribution, he made himself available to Juventus and now he’s leaving. Life goes on,” added Allegri.

Ronaldo won two Serie A titles with Juventus, but his time in Turin has not lived up to expectations.

He joined 2018 after scoring a remarkable 450 goals in 438 matches in a glittering nine-year spell at the Bernabeu that also included four Champions League triumphs.

Juventus hopes he would be the final piece required to end their 25-year wait to become champions of Europe have been thwarted.

La Vecchia Signora have failed to get beyond the quarter-finals in the past three seasons.

Last season, they were deposed as Italian champions by fierce rivals Inter Milan and had to wait until the final day of the campaign to secure qualification for Europe’s top club competition.

However, Ronaldo still topped the Serie A goal charts last season, edging out Romelu Lukaku, who joined Chelsea this month for £97 million.

And he also rolled back the years at Euro 2020 to win the Golden Boot despite playing just four games as Portugal bowed out at the last 16.

United have already significantly strengthened their squad with the signings of Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane during the transfer window as they aim to win the Premier League for the first time since 2013.

Ronaldo would join an already loaded group of attacking options for Solskjaer featuring Fernandes, Sancho, Edinson Cavani, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood, and Paul Pogba.

-AFP