Ronaldo 'happy to be back home' at Man Utd
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Cristiano Ronaldo is back at Manchester United. And he could make his debut against Newcastle on Saturday, if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer deems him ready enough. The Portugal international, certainly, is going to walk into a completely different dressing room to the one he did when he joined the club from Sporting Lisbon back in 2003.
Ronaldo, when he first joined United 19 years ago, was a young, fresh-faced teenager.
But instead of senior players making life easy for him, they decided to put him to the test instead.
And former team-mate Mads Timm, writing in his autobiography which was sampled by The Sun earlier this year, claimed Ronaldo was ‘bullied’ when he first moved to the club.
Timm also stated that Ronaldo ‘took the fight against the hierarchy’, meaning the seasoned veterans inside the dressing room.
He stated: “He was quite extraordinary as a footballer, and as a person.
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“Like me, he was bullied when he came to the club.
“With his hair – which he soon got clipped – and with his almost acrobatic attempt to impress the coaches.
“He could stand and do 10-15 stepovers before he tried to dribble past the opponent.
“‘Pass now, just pass, dammit,’ shouted Gary Neville and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer constantly to him when we had reserve team matches together.
“The special thing about Cristiano Ronaldo was that he immediately took the fight against the hierarchy. And he won it.
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“He was completely indifferent to the rest of his teammates. He gave no room for others. It was me, me, me. Cristiano Ronaldo. CR7.”
Now, Ronaldo will be walking into a dressing room where he’s already earned his team-mates’ respect.
This is a serial winner coming home, a player with a huge 30 medals to his name.
And Ronaldo’s return means United also have the deadliest player in football history, with the Portugal international notching 785 times throughout his career so far.
Some have questioned whether Ronaldo can make the grade at Old Trafford again.
But Harry Redknapp is adamant the former Juventus and Real Madrid star will produce the goods, despite him entering the twilight years of his career.
“I don’t think we’ll see the Ronaldo of old, you’ll see him passing more, rather than speeding at defenders,” he said.
“And he’s just got that knack of being in the right place at the right time.
“He will be Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s biggest ally, because he shows everyone else how to do things, how he works, how to live their lives.
“Carlo Ancelotti told that when he managed him at Real Madrid, Ronnie was always first in and last out at training. Not now and then, but every single day.
“Mason Greenwood, 19, Jadon Sancho, 21, and 23-year-old Marcus Rashford . . . all those young players at United will learn so much from him.
“All the Academy kids, they should be watching him and soaking up every bit of knowledge they can.”
Ronaldo could make his debut when United face Newcastle on Saturday.
And that doesn’t bode well for Steve Bruce’s side.
Ronaldo has scored six goals and registered five assists against the Toon throughout his career so far, meaning he’ll be looking to put them to the sword yet again.
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