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

I

really enjoyed this. Thanks F365 for another year of work avoidance - happy Christmas.

megabrow (cufc)
Our Person Of The Year: Alan Pardew

I

m no Sam Fan and this article sums him up beautifully. I always like to imagine that when he watches anything on TV and hears clapping, he stands up and aknowledges the applause, thinking its for him!

cozens
Football Managers On TV: Sam Allardyce

N

ah, Fergie is just having another pop at Rooney. He just wants to put him down whenever he gets a chance. Rooney is by far the best English player. Carrick is not far behind, mind. However, by elevating Carrick like that, Sir is having a dig at Wayne. Fergie is well-known for mind games like that. Good to see he's still feisty.

timbo
Van Gaal will thrive - Ferguson

Footer 365

Arsene Wenger admits Olivier Giroud deserved his red card for headbutting Nedum Onuoha

Arsene Wenger admits Olivier Giroud deserved his red card for headbutting Nedum Onuoha in Arsenal's 2-1 win over QPR.

Premier League: Alexis Sanchez and Tomas Rosicky give 10-man Arsenal 2-1 win over QPR

Alexis Sanchez and Tomas Rosicky gave Arsenal a 2-1 win over QPR despite Olivier Giroud's second-half sending off.

Premier League: Manchester City respond to Chelsea's victory by winning at West Brom

Manchester City won 3-1 at West Brom to reduce the gap on Chelsea at the top of the Premier League back to three points.

Mail Box

Van Gaal's Half-Term Report Card...

One Man United fan isn't happy with the rate the team is progressing under Louis van Gaal, while the mailbox also wishes Liverpool fans a Merry Mid-Table Christmas...

Hang On, Rafa's Success Is No Fluke...

The afternoon mailbox kicks the morning mailbox's arse after claims that Rafa Benitez has fluked his success. Plus, big talk about Liverpool's progress and lots more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property