Cristiano Ronaldo registered speed of over 20mph for second goal on Man Utd debut

By Darren Wells

Too old? Nonsense.

If Cristiano Ronaldo is beginning to feel the effects of Father Time, he certainly isn't showing it.

The 36-year-old may have entered the twilight years of his glittering career, with his return to Manchester United perhaps a. final swansong, but he is still very much an elite athlete still at the peak of his powers.

That much was evident when he showed Newcastle defender Isaac Hayden a clean set of heels in the build-up to his second goal on Saturday.

Having already broken the deadlock to announce himself back at Old Trafford, the Portuguese superstar took just six minutes to cancel out Javier Manquillo's equaliser in breathtaking fashion.

Cristiano Ronaldo racked up a top speed of 20.2mph vs Newcastle (AFP via Getty Images)

Latching onto Paul Pogba's through pass, Ronaldo dragged the ball in front of himself effortless, before smashing a left-foot shot past Freddie Woodman in the Magpies' goal.

But it was his work before that which had fans stood with their mouths open.

Sensing the opportunity for a sniff at goal, Ronaldo got on his bike prior to Pogba even receiving the ball, and clocked up speeds of more than 20mph as he hurtled towards the Newcastle box.

BBC Sport recorded his official top speed as 20.2mph, which is pretty impressive.

To put that into context, The Sun reported that the top speed in the Premier League so far this season prior to the international break was the 22.15mph ran by Stuart Armstrong of Southampton, leaving Ronaldo not far behind.

Ronaldo's time doesn't come as much of a surprise, given he still maintains an incredibly disciplined approach to staying in top shape, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer mentioned in his praise of the forward after the victory.

"Cristiano lifts everyone, he gets everyone so focused when he's in and around the place, he puts demands on himself, which then will put demands on his team-mates and it puts demands on us.

"That's why he's done so much in his career. He's been so disciplined.

The Man Utd star left Newcastle's defenders trailing as he raced through and scored his second goal (REUTERS)

"We knew he's evolved, he's developed as a player, he's a different type of player now compared to what he was when he left, but he's still a ruthless and clinical goalscorer.

"He smells the big moments, he senses when there's a goal in it."

His brace got his second spell at United off to the best of starts as he helped them move top of the table.

And Ronaldo is already eyeing a first trophy after outlining what United need to bring home the title.

“I’m here to win, I think we have a fantastic team with great potential and we need to build up confidence,” said Ronaldo.

“Manchester United need to be where they deserve, to go step by step to win the Premier League."

He continued: “I belong to this club, so I want to help the team to achieve good things and I’m looking forward to the next games.

“This team has huge potential. We have fantastic players, a good coach, a good team and we need to build up the mentality to win the Premier League and even the Champions League.”


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