Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed that returning star Cristiano Ronaldo will make his second Manchester United FC debut in Saturday’s Old Trafford homecoming against Newcastle United.
The 36-year-old returned to the club he excelled for during six medal-laden seasons on deadline day, signing a two-year deal with the option of a further season.
Ronaldo has been training with the club this week and will feature when Newcastle United arrive at a bouncing Old Trafford in Saturday’s eagerly-anticipated Premier League encounter.
“He’s been having a good pre-season with Juventus, he’s played for the national team, and he’s had a good week with us here,” the Manchester United manager said on Friday.
“He will definitely be on the pitch at some point, that’s for sure.”
Asked about Ronaldo’s first few days back at the club, Solskjaer said: “Yeah, he’s been good.
“Of course we’ve followed his career from afar since he left here and I think everyone’s very, very happy to have him back.
“He can speak for himself, but he seems like he’s happy to be back as well.
“The mood’s been very good, he’s worked well and we’re looking forward to Saturday, of course.”
The Norwegian said onlookers were “confused” rather than him as the Portuguese adds a new level of quality to the squad, both physically and mentally.
“We have grown as a group the last few years, I have to say,” Solskjaer said. “The determination, the desire, the focus has improved over time and bit by bit.
“Even like bringing Raphael (Varane) in, he’s come in with a winner’s mentality, an unbelievable focus.
“Then of course Cristiano comes in as well and there’s no place to hide when you’ve got winners like them. You can’t go into training and give 95 per cent or not being focused.
“That’s what he demands of himself and of everyone else. So, it’s been great having him in.”
Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce is hoping his players can spoil the former Real Madrid and Juventus star’s big afternoon.
Bruce said: “It’s always going to be tough and obviously the added spice of Ronaldo coming back has added to it”.
Manchester United’s recapture of Ronaldo has been the talk of football since news of their sensational swoop emerged a fortnight ago.
So, Bruce is in little doubt as to what he will bring to the mix.
He said: “You’re not going to be voted the best player in the world for… him and (Lionel) Messi have dominated that stage now for the last 15 years, is it?
“He’s been quite a remarkable player, how he’s looked after himself. The goals he’s scored at every club he’s played for is quite remarkable.
“That, quite rightly in my opinion, makes him the best player in the world. It’s a terrific signing by Manchester United.”