Gary Neville claims Cristiano Ronaldo’s Man United return has the city ‘BUZZING’ and Old Trafford was bouncing like never before for his fairytale second debut
Gary Neville has insisted Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United return has got the whole city buzzing and that Old Trafford was bouncing like never before after he scored two goals on the weekend to mark his second debut at the club.
The Portuguese superstar sealed an emotional deadline-day switch to United from Juventus to rejoin the club where he had made his name, with his arrival immediately boosting hopes of the Red Devils winning silverware this season.
Ronaldo’s signing was met with huge fanfare, with the club seeing a massive increase in orders for replica shirts and their shares soaring just days after confirming his transfer.
Cristiano Ronaldo shone on his second debut for Manchester United, scoring two goals
On Saturday, there was a fervent atmosphere inside Old Trafford as fans welcomed back their hero 12 years after he left the club.
Club legend Neville, who spent his entire career at United, claimed Ronaldo’s return has generated enormous excitement across the city that had been missing in recent times.
‘I walked out into Manchester’s city centre on Saturday morning and I’ve not seen it as alive for five or 10 years,’ Neville said on his Sky Sports podcast.
‘What he’s done to the Premier League for interest is exciting but for the city, he’s absolutely got it buzzing with excitement – and this was even before he scored the two goals.
‘I was at Salford and saw the news that he scored. I could only imagine what the atmosphere was like and I spoke to a couple of people who were there and they said it was out of this world, bouncing like they’ve never seen it before. And, Salford scored in the last minute which meant it was the perfect football day.’
There is a general feeling among United supporters that with Ronaldo leading the way, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men can end their eight-year wait for another Premier League crown.
But Neville, who previously said that he still doubts United’s title credentials even with Ronaldo, warned them that this could well be the most competitive Premier League season ever.
The former United defender believes England’s top-flight may have more quality now than ever before, saying Ronaldo’s return in the ‘cherry on top of the cake’.
He added: ‘In the first half of the Leeds game, I sat back and was marvelling at the speed, quality and atmosphere. We always tend to look back and say there was more tackling in the 80s and 90s, it was more real, standing on the terraces.
‘But what I’ve seen in the first four weeks of this season, takes some beating in terms of quality. This is as good as I’ve seen. We lauded the players for being brilliant through Covid last season in difficult times and all the fans frustratingly having to watch at home.
‘It was desperate at times with no fans in the stadium. But it’s more than made up for it at the start of this season – it’s a compelling watch. And Ronaldo coming back has put the cherry on top of a very good cake.’