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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.

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Readers' Comments

E

ven if United were to sign CR7 & Messi to play upfront, the fact remains Fletcher and Cleverly are playing in midfield. That's where the problem is. Fletcher is too slow with an awful pass, while Cleverly is simply rubbish

mrunited4life
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

T

hese days, these days, you can't say something racist without somebody saying that you're a racist.

tk421
'Wrong' Views Not Silenced By Shouting...

D

rop Rooney (he's so disappointing, overrated and overpaid), and play Di Maria and RVP upfront, much like the set up at the Netherlands team with Roben and RVP...

eric bush3
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

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