Manchester United start the defence of their UEFA Champions League crown tonight when they entertain Villarreal at Old Trafford. The game is expected to mark the return of a certain Cristiano Ronaldo from a long-term injury that required surgery.
After the summer’s I-want-to-leave-for-Real-Madrid tomfoolery, the 23-year-old Portuguese winger has lost a considerable chunk of his popularity with the United supporters, many of whom do not even want him in a Red Devils shirt any more. But ever-shrewd United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has told the media that the United supporters shall forgive Ronaldo for his antics in the summer and that Ronaldo will again win over the fans with his footballing exhibition.
“I think the fans understand the situation — he was a young man tempted by the lure of money.
“Since we gave him our decision he has accepted it and his training has been fantastic.
“He’s come back from his ankle operation ahead of schedule and been the perfect patient.
“Cristiano has been training every day until 5pm and shown real determination to get back playing.”
“There has been no toys thrown out the pram. He has accepted the situation and got on with it.
“I’m delighted he is back. You are talking about a truly magnificent player.”
Let’s wait and watch what happens when Ronaldo comes on against Villarreal tonight.