Emotional night for Ronaldo

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo admitted that facing his former side Manchester United in the Champions League had been an emotional experience.

Last Updated: 14/02/13 at 06:16 Post Comment

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a superb equaliser

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a superb equaliser

The brilliant Portuguese forward established himself as one of the finest players in the world during a six-year stint at Old Trafford before moving to Spain in 2009.

And, lining up against his old club in the first leg of a Champions League last-16 tie at the Bernabeu, Ronaldo got the equaliser in a 1-1 draw, rising majestically above Patrice Evra after half an hour to head home an Angel Di Maria cross.

But the 28-year-old did not celebrate wildly, showing respect for his former club by simply acknowledging the jubilant Real fans.

"I was in Manchester for six years, so tonight was very emotional for me," said Ronaldo. "I scored a goal but I didn't celebrate out of respect.

"Maybe United are favourites now, maybe not, anything can happen. Sometimes we are better away than at home, so we will see.

"It will be amazing to play at Old Trafford again after four years. It will be another emotional night."

In his post-match interview, Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson said of Ronaldo: "I spoke to him and he is sitting in our dressing room now, talking to the lads.

"He had six years with us and I am proud of how he flourished.

"I blamed Patrice Evra for not challenging for his goal until I saw the replay and felt a bit stupid.

"His (Ronaldo's) knee is about as high as Evra's head - phenomenal. I don't think any other player in the world can do that, certainly not (Barcelona's Lionel) Messi."

RONALDO'S NIGHT IN THE SPOTLIGHT

GOALS

Ronaldo scores goals and lots of them. His latest strike, a brilliant header after an impressively long time in the air, was his 183rd in 180 official matches since swapping red for white in the summer of 2009.

SHOOTING

Never shy of shooting, his first effort came eight minutes in and chances rained in after that, hitting a free-kick against the wall and volleying the rebound just wide. A second-half free-kick flashed narrowly over the bar and he was also denied by David De Gea, Jonny Evans and Rio Ferdinand.

POSITIONING

Ronaldo started the game playing on the left-hand side and generally stayed there, although he occasionally switched to the right, most notably in the first half when he came in to connect with Mesut Ozil's cross and score.

EXTRAS

A first-half shoulder flick into the path of Xabi Alonso caught the eye, as did a humbling of Rafael to lay on a move. But with Manchester United doing their best to keep him under lock and key, showboating was hard, even if he did try to score with a cute backheel.

CLASS

Ronaldo is so used to scoring goals that celebrating is not always on his mind, but it was particularly pertinent that he kept his reaction low key last night, putting an apologetic hand up.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

Y

ou can't blame De Gea for wanting to leave, he has enough to do in front of goal as it is as well as taking on the role of Man Utd's version of Derek Acorah in trying to contact and organise a defence that isn't there.

rodger's gusset
Van Gaal downbeat on De Gea

I

f you want to take six points off Arsenal, then that's a great strike force. Can't imagine either of them showing much for the rest of the season though...

foot in mouth
Adebayor & Berbatov: You Have To Admire The Balls

L

ooks like Real get their man, most likely at their own valuation, yet again. Resistance is futile.

paul7702
Van Gaal downbeat on De Gea

Footer 365

Digne agent denies Liverpool talks

Lucas Digne's agent has denied reports he has held talks with Liverpool regarding a move to Anfield for the Paris Saint-Germain left-back.

Mourinho scuppered Reds' Costa move

A new biography has revealed how Jose Mourinho scuppered Liverpool's bid to sign Diego Costa - a year before he arrived in west London.

Ramos 'extends' Real Madrid contract

Manchester United's pursuit of Sergio Ramos is over after the centre-back agreed a new contract extension at Real Madrid.

Mail Box

Getting Tired Of De Gea's Disrespect

One Manchester United fan is growing weary of David de Gea's disrespect. Plus thoughts on Southampton's summer, Balotelli loan, and Depay in the centre. Why?

Mails: This Is My Perfect Moment

Lots of Mailboxers channel their inner Martine McCutcheon to bring you their perfect footballing moments. Plus thoughts on Blatter, names, and Chelsea worries...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company