Cristiano Ronaldo has admitted he feels ‘proud’ to have scored a brace on his second Manchester United debut, firing the Red Devils to a 4-1 victory over Newcastle United.
The 36-year-old was given a hero’s welcome at Old Trafford, and he repaid supporters for their faith with the opening goal of the match just before half-time. He then restored the lead in the second half, after the Magpies had drawn level.
It was a perfect afternoon for Man Utd and Ronaldo, collecting three points and witnessing the return of one of the best players that the Red Devils have ever celebrated. And speaking to BBC Sport at the end of the match, the Portuguese icon confessed he felt ‘proud’ on his return, and ‘didn’t expect’ to make such a sensational start.
“I didn’t expect to score two goals,” Ronaldo said. “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.
“The most important thing was to win and to win games. Manchester [United] needs to be where they deserve. It is to win, to build the team and build the club and the mentality.
“This is what we are looking for. Of course I am happy to score goals I am not going to deny that but the most important thing is the team and the team played good.”
Ronaldo even said he was ‘nervous’ when the game kicked off, but the support of the fans and their constant singing of his name helped him to produce a match-winning performance.
“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.”
Ronaldo’s brace was accompanied by goals from Bruno Fernandes and Jesse Lingard, as Man Utd’s confident second-half display saw off Newcastle and fired them back to the top of the Premier League table.