Cristiano Ronaldo will make an eagerly anticipated second debut for Manchester United on Saturday.
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.