Cristiano Ronaldo’s first goal on Man Utd return in pictures
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Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to start Manchester United’s Premier League clash with Watford this afternoon. And, if he does, the Portugal international could be going up against former team-mate Ben Foster. The pair both played together under Sir Alex Ferguson, helping the club win the EFL Cup in 2009.
Ronaldo and Foster were both part of the United team that beat Tottenham in the final of the EFL Cup 12 years ago.
The match went to penalties, with the Watford goalkeeper saving to ensure his side claimed the trophy.
And Foster, speaking on Jaacks Happy Hour Podcast earlier in the year, revealed the way Ronaldo conducted himself prior to the shootout.
The veteran claimed Ronaldo went out of his way to give him words of advice, while also labelling the Portugal international as a ‘top bloke’.
“He’s a good bloke as well, not just a good bloke but helpful as well with it,” he said.
“[In the] Carling Cup final we played against Tottenham and we won, [the] full time whistle had gone and it was about to go to a penalty shootout.
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“He literally came over and put his arm around me – bearing in mind I’m two years older than him, and he said ‘this is your moment’.
“I remember feeling all warm, I was buzzing and I went and saved a penalty, we won. He didn’t have to do that.”
Foster also claimed at the time that Ronaldo would blitz the Premier League again.
“They’re (United) going to get two years of him scoring 30/35 goals in the Premier League this season, honestly the guy is a joke,” he added.
“He may be 36 but the guy is a machine, he’s still a 30-year-old.”
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So far, Ronaldo hasn’t disappointed.
While United have been poor – they go into today’s match having lost six of their last 12 matches – the Portugal international has been a shining light.
Ronaldo has netted nine times since returning from Juventus, including braces against Newcastle and Atalata.
He’s also struck against Young Boys, West Ham, Villarreal and Tottenham since his Hollywood homecoming.
And whether he can help his team return to winning ways at Vicarage Road this afternoon remains to be seen.
Looking ahead to the game, meanwhile, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted he’s raring to get going.
“Of course, times like this when there is an international break, we always use it in the best possible way,” he said.
“This time, we had a few players that were injured and had to pull out of their games, and they’ve been working on their rehab and recovery.
“Some have been working on their fitness here, some have been allowed to go back home, to see their families with the staff working closely with them, of course.
“That’s one of the things we learnt through the pandemic; we can still keep in touch through Zoom and all the technology.
“And this week, they’ve come back bright.
“It’s been a very, very good week so far and we’re well prepared for Saturday.”
And he added: “The good thing about this period now is that we have no international break, no distractions; it’s us, we’re here together for four months until the next international break.
“We know we need to do better, we know we’ve not been playing as well as we can, we should do better, we can do better, I’m sure we will do better.
“Everything I’ve seen this week in training bodes very well; they’ve been bright, they’ve looked after themselves when they’ve been away and it’s important now that the Watford game is the start of what’s to come.”
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