Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirms Cristiano Ronaldo will make second Manchester United debut against Newcastle

By Marco Giacomelli

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed on Friday that Cristiano Ronaldo will make his second debut for Manchester United against Newcastle on Saturday, 12 years after his last game for the club.

On Thursday, Ronaldo spoke of his eagerness to be in the starting XI against Steve Bruce’s side.

The 36-year-old began training with his new team-mates on Tuesday and Solskjaer has been keeping a close eye on the forward.

United’s manager would not reveal whether Ronaldo would start but did say today: “He’s been having a good pre-season with Juventus, he’s played for the national team and he’s had a good week with us here. He will definitely be on the pitch at some stage that’s for sure."

Asked about Ronaldo’s first few days back at the club, Solskjaer said: "Yeah, he's been good. Of course we've followed his career from afar since he left here and I think everyone's very, 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."

United stunned football by signing Ronaldo from Juventus in the final days of the transfer window and the anticipation has been building towards his first appearance back in the team.

Ronaldo, in an interview with the club website published on Thursday, said: “Of course I will be nervous on Saturday, but I am more mature, I am more experienced. I will be prepared and I am going to make pressure to Ole now to start in the XI [laughs]. I am ready to go! “I am not here for vacation."

He joined United from Sporting Lisbon in 2003 and went on to win the Premier League three times and the Champions League once under Sir Alex Ferguson, scoring 118 goals in six seasons before joining Real Madrid.

His final game for United was the Champions League Final in 2009 when they were beaten 2-0 by Barcelona in Rome, with Ronaldo’s long-time rival Lionel Messi scoring one of the goals.


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