Cristiano Ronaldo scored two goals during his first game back at Manchester United on Saturday against Newcastle United in the Premier League.
The Portuguese superstar rejoined the club from Juventus this summer. He scored 118 goals in 292 games during his previous six-year stint with Manchester United before leaving for Real Madrid in 2009 for what was then a world record fee.
In the first half of his second debut, the 36-year-old delighted the home fans, tapping home a rebounded shot from Manchester United superstar youngster Mason Greenwood.
In true Ronaldo form, he ran to the Old Trafford corner to perform his now-famous “Siuuuu” celebration.
His debut took a turn after the halftime break, however, as Javier Manquillo equalized for Newcastle after a swift counterattack.
However, Ronaldo showed again why he was brought back to Manchester, getting his second goal of the game with a powerful low finish to once again give United the lead.
Ronaldo’s Portugal teammate Bruno Fernandes extended Manchester United’s lead with a thunderbolt of a strike from about 30 yards out from goal before Jesse Lingard scored to make it 4-1.
Ronaldo said he was “super nervous” before making his first appearance back at the club.
“I didn’t expect to score two goals. I expect one but not two. I have to appreciate the fans and what they did to me today. I feel so proud for that,” he told BBC Sport afterwards.
“It is unbelievable. When I started the game I was so nervous, I swear. It is normally because I did not expect that they would sing my name all game. I was very nervous but maybe I didn’t show but I was. The reception is incredible but I am here to win games and help the team.
“It was unbelievable moment. I was super nervous and was thinking last night that I wanted to play good and show I was still capable of helping the team. This club is unbelievable and I am so proud. I am going to give everything to make them proud of me.
“Everyone knows the football in England is different than in any part of the world and to be honest it is the most special one. I arrived here at 18 and they treated my unbelievable and that is why I am back.”
Hottest ticket in town
It was the game all Manchester United fans wanted to see: the return of Ronaldo.
Shirts with his name and the famous No. 7 had flown off the racks and the Old Trafford stands were full of fans hoping for a glimpse of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
The excitement grew further when, an hour before kickoff, it was announced that Ronaldo would be starting.
The roar that welcomed him on the pitch ahead of kickoff almost lifted the roof of the famous stadium, and Ronaldo’s first few touches in the red kit of Manchester United were cheered as if he had scored.
The fans only had to wait until just before halftime to get what they’d come to see: Ronaldo scoring once again for their club.
Some good work from England international Greenwood resulted in Newcastle Freddie Woodman saving the attempt, only for it to fall at the waiting feet of Ronaldo, to score his first goal for the club 12 years and 124 days.
In celebration, Ronaldo delighted fans by performing his now customary celebration, where he jumps, spins and thrusts his arms out while exclaiming, “Siuuu.”
But after halftime, Newcastle showed they weren’t going down without a fight.
Managed by former United player Steve Bruce, some slick counterattacks threatened to level the game, before Manquillo’s low finish did eventually restore parity.
It didn’t last long though, as Ronaldo once again displayed why he’s the top goalscorer in men’s international football.
A slick through ball from Luke Shaw fell at his feet, which he powered between the legs of Woodman in goal for his second goal of the game.
A wonder strike from Fernandes extended the lead to two before Lingard made it 4-1.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, a former teammate of Ronaldo’s, lauded the combination of his two Portuguese stars.
“Good players can always play together. They have a mutual respect and play for Portugal together,” Solskjaer told Sky Sports afterwards.
“It’s too early for me to predict where we’ll end up. We have to be consistent and let’s see where we are. It’s changed [the atmosphere]. A few months back you think how it was here. This is what Man Utd supporters should feel like.”