Manchester United players past and present hailed the return of Cristiano Ronaldo to the club as the Portuguese star agreed a deal to go back to Old Trafford.
The 36-year-old is set to make the move from Juventus and become a United player again after leaving for Real Madrid in 2009.
The Premier League club have said the deal was subject to the agreement of personal terms, visa and a medical.
— Bruno Fernandes (@B_Fernandes8) August 27, 2021
United players took to social media to welcoming Ronaldo back to the club he joined in 2003 and where he spent six successful seasons.
Bruno Fernandes, who reportedly spoke to his Portugal teammate about returning to United, tweeted: “‘Agent Bruno’?” alongside emojis of a briefcase and a face with tears of joy. He added: “Welcome back home Cristiano”.
United’s summer signing Jadon Sancho simply tweeted: “SCARY HOURS!”, while Marcus Rashford said: “Wow wow wow, he’s home”, Jesse Lingard added: “VIVA RONALDOOO!!!!” while Raphael Varane and David De Gea also posted messages.
Roy Keane, who was United captain when the club first signed Ronaldo, wrote on Instagram: “Welcome back Cristiano”, while Edwin van der Sar wrote on his social media account: “How are you feeling @manchesterunited fans? Always dreamt but never expected that it would happen! Welcome back in Manchester @cristiano”.
Gary Neville, another former teammate, called it “fantastic news” and admitted that it would have been “torture” for United fans to see him join neighbours Manchester City, who were initially front-runners to sign the five-time world player of the year.
Neville told Sky Sports: “It’s fantastic news. A little bit nostalgic and nostalgia doesn’t always work in football, it kicks you sometimes when you don’t expect it.
“The idea of him going to City was torture for United fans. If there is a big player available United have to be in the market for that player.
Wow wow wow, he’s home 🤩♥️ @Cristiano
— Marcus Rashford MBE (@MarcusRashford) August 27, 2021
“What they’ve done is bolster the squad with a proven goalscorer, a club legend. He will score goals and give them brilliant moments.
“It will give the club an incredible 12 months and United fans are going to be absolutely rocking to see one of their own come back and play.”
Neville, who made fun of fellow Sky pundit Jamie Carragher in an Instagram post welcoming back Ronaldo, believes the acquisition could transform United’s season after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side slipped up in a 1-1 draw at Southampton last weekend.
“This could give them a temporary shot in the arm that would potentially get them right up there this year,” Neville said.
“This news gives me more hope that United could have a great season because this is one of the most special players who has ever played the game of football.
“He’ll play regularly as a number nine and I’m sure they’ll put legs around him.
— Raphaël Varane (@raphaelvarane) August 27, 2021
“Cristiano will be coming to win trophies, personal accolades and set the Premier League on fire.
“It is a different Cristiano Ronaldo but he’s someone who still has those bursts of speed over short spaces that will cause problems.
“He makes great runs inside the box and has the anticipation where the ball is going to drop, so he will give Manchester United something that they need.”