Cristiano Ronaldo is set to complete a stunning back to Manchester United before transfer deadline day and, though he is in Lisbon having a medical, his presence was felt before, during and after Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Wolves.
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United fans were in a carnival mood, celebrating the imminent arrival of one of their greatest, and it was an outpouring of love rarely seen for any player.
“Viva Ronaldo, running down the wing, hear United sing, viva Ronaldo”, was the song being sung by United fans on the trains to the West Midlands, on the walk to the stadium, inside the Molineux concourse and in the stands.
United fans wore CR7 T-shirts, waved ‘welcome back Ronaldo’ signs and held up cardboard cutouts of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
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“It’s like a dream to have him back, it will be great, it’s already great, you can feel it in the atmosphere,” United keeper David de Gea told Sky Sports after the match.
“Hopefully he can bring something special to make the team even better.”
- The striker could make his second United appearance over Newcastle on Saturday, 11 September in front of what will be an expectant and jubilant Old Trafford crowd.
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“He’s a special boy, or man now, he was a boy when I played with him. Of course we want to get that over the line,” said United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
“Of course the players are excited, some have played with him in their national team. You see the fans, they’re excited. That’s what he does, he’s a special player.”
United’s performance against Wolves, despite the win, was far from sparkling and could well have been lifted by the intervention of a player who has scored 476 goals in 586 league appearances, perhaps increasing the likelihood the 36-year-old will feature immediately after the international break.
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“He is not signing to sit on the bench. He is going to make us a better team,” said Solskjaer.