Manchester United confirm Cristiano Ronaldo return
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Manchester United have signed another Eric Cantona in Cristiano Ronaldo, Harry Redknapp believes. The Portugal international recently returned to Old Trafford from Juventus. And he’s been tipped to be Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s ‘biggest ally’ as the Red Devils look to win the Premier League title.
Late in the transfer window, it looked as though Ronaldo would move to Manchester City.
But United ended up hijacking the deal, confirming the return of the Portugal international on deadline day.
Now, attentions are turning towards how the 36-year-old will fare during his second stint in English football.
And Redknapp, writing in his column for The Sun, has now compared Ronaldo’s return to when the club signed Cantona from Leeds back in 1992.
He said: “I see it as similar in many ways as to when United signed Eric Cantona in 1992.
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“Different players, obviously, but in terms of their impact on the others.
“All the kids back then, Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, the Nevilles, would watch everything Eric did and think ‘if it’s good enough for him, then that’s what we should be doing’.
“You get that with the great players. When Paolo Di Canio was at West Ham, he’d come in on a Sunday and warm down for an hour and a half, eat the right food, live the right way.
“Even at Bournemouth, when Luther Blissett came back from Italy, he turned the culture around.
“They went from going for egg and chips after training to eating pasta. As a manager, players like him and Di Canio are worth their weight in gold.
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“Well, Ronaldo is a different league again and I’m so pleased and excited to see him back in the Premier League.”
Redknapp also told an amusing story of when he asked for a picture with Ronaldo and his grandchildren, only for the snapper to make a mistake.
“There weren’t too many times I faced Cristiano Ronaldo and managed to cut him down to size,” he said.
“But it happened one day in 2013, when Real Madrid sent a full strength team over for a pre-season friendly at Bournemouth.
“They had just been promoted to the Championship and I took the grandkids along to see one of the greatest players of all time. It was a marvellous day for the town.
“Ronaldo, being the fantastic guy he is, was great with everyone as always, and when I asked if we could get a picture with the kids, he was good as gold.
“As I’m sure you know, I’m useless with any sort of technology, so someone else took the photo on my phone.
“Ronaldo posed for the pic, off he went, and the grandkids were delighted . . . until we looked and somehow the fellow who took the photo had cut his b***** head off!
“There we were, one of the all-time greats, happy to have his picture taken, and it didn’t even have his face on.”
Ronaldo himself, meanwhile, is excited to play in front of United supporters again.
“Well, the fans is the key of football,” he said.
“Now, with all the stadiums full of supporters, it’s not the same that we had one year ago, those empty stadiums.
“The fans, they are the key, and I’m so glad.
“The Manchester United fans, they are special, I know, I remember very well.
“I know they still sing my music which has made me feel even more happy and my commitment is to give everything on the pitch, like I did before, like I do it all the time, and try to do my best, help the team score goals, make assists, win games, and I hope to see them very, very soon.”
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