The stewards at Old Trafford had a busy evening dealing with pesky trespassers on Tuesday – their intended target? Cristiano Ronaldo.
The return of the prodigal son proved to be too much for some Manchester United fans to handle, so much so that a few stormed the pitch and risked a lifetime ban from watching home games just for a chance to say hi.
It only took a couple of minutes for the first chancer to try his luck. He was swiftly dealt with by the stewards, but did manage to get a high-five of sorts off the Juventus star while he was being pinned down to the ground.
Cristiano Ronaldo posed for a selfie with a pitch invader at Old Trafford on Tuesday evening
The United fan could face a lifetime ban but has this souvenir saved on to his phone
They say fortune favours the brave and that seemed to ring true for the next United fan to make a run at Ronaldo.
Clearly the Portugal star is still well thought of around these parts because this fan, by all accounts, is a die-hard United fan.
Dressed in head-to-toe in club gear, the man legged it on to the pitch at the end of the game with eyes locked in on Ronaldo.
The fan, who was dressed head-to-toe in United gear, was chased down by a steward
The trespasser was eventually caught and escorted off the Old Trafford pitch
Ronaldo seemed to find the situation amusing and laughed as he returned the man’s phone
He was stopped by those pantomime villains wearing Hi-Viz jackets in touching distance of the former United star.
But the 33-year-old rewarded the man’s bravery by quickly snapping a selfie with him before he was escorted off the pitch along with another fan who was desperately trying to get close to Ronaldo.
A priceless souvenir? Maybe. Will the man be thinking it was worth it this morning? Probably not.
He was not the first fan to get a selfie with Ronaldo on the pitch and probably won’t be the last. To the concern of security workers and stewards everywhere, the Juventus forward has actually given pitch invaders hope by posing for pictures with them on several occasions.
His return to Old Trafford on Tuesday was always going to attract some to try their luck; it was so anticipated and built up that the match itself was the sub-plot.
Paulo Dybala’s neat finish in the 17th minute was enough for Juventus to win the match
The striker’s goal was the only one in the game and all but guaranteed Juventus’ qualification
It turned out, as it usually does with these things, that Ronaldo – although as good as he was – was not the difference here.
Paulo Dybala’s goal after 17 minutes was enough for the Italians to leave Manchester with three points and all but guarantee their place in the knockout rounds of the Champions League.
For United and Jose Mourinho it raised more questions and more concerns after their mini revival – and that was all it was – came to a shuddering halt in front of their supporters.
Although this is Ronaldo, perhaps Tuesday’s events represents something telling about United’s current situation; that their fans would run on to the pitch to see him rather than one of their own?
That is for Mourinho and United’s players now to consider why that is the case.
Jose Mourinho will again be under pressure after United were outclassed on their own turf