Cristiano Ronaldo scored two goals in his first Premier League game back for Manchester United against Newcastle United on Saturday.
This summer, the Portuguese superstar returned to the club after leaving Juventus. During his previous six-year stint with Manchester United, he scored 118 goals in 292 games before joining Real Madrid in 2009 for a then-world-record fee.
The 36-year-old delighted home fans in the first half of his second debut, 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.
However, his debut took a turn after the halftime break, when Newcastle’s Javier Manquillo equalized on a quick counterattack.
Ronaldo, on the other hand, demonstrated why he was brought back to Manchester by scoring his second goal of the game with a powerful low finish to put United back in front.
Before Jesse Lingard scored to make it 4-1, Ronaldo’s Portugal teammate Bruno Fernandes extended Manchester United’s lead with a thunderbolt of a strike from about 30 yards out.
Before making his first appearance back at the club, Ronaldo admitted that he was “extremely nervous.”
“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.”
It was the game that all Manchester United fans had been waiting for: Ronaldo’s return.
Shirts bearing his name and the famous No. 7 had flown off the shelves, and the Old Trafford stands were packed with supporters hoping to see the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
The anticipation grew even higher when it was announced an hour before kickoff that Ronaldo would start.
The roar that greeted him on the pitch before kickoff nearly lifted the roof of the famous stadium, and Ronaldo’s first touches in Manchester United’s red kit were applauded as if he had scored.
Fans only had to wait until just before halftime to see what they had come to see: Ronaldo scoring for his club once more.
During Manchester United’s match against Newcastle, a fan holds a ‘CR7 Welcome Home’ sign aloft.
Greenwood’s excellent work resulted in Newcastle’s Freddie Woodman saving the attempt, only for it to fall to Ronaldo’s waiting feet, who scored his first goal for the club in 12 years and 124 days.
Ronaldo delighted fans by performing his now-famous celebration, which involves him jumping, spinning, and thrusting his arms out while exclaiming, “Siuuu.”
Newcastle, on the other hand, showed they weren’t going down without a fight after halftime.