Tonight, in Manchester, the world will bear witness to one of the greatest nights in sporting history. Cristiano Ronaldo is coming home, back to the place he was and is still adored, where fans used to and still chant his name, a place where he became part of Manchester United folklore. He returns to Old Trafford, the Theatre of Dreams.

Cristiano Ronaldo first lit up Old Trafford back in 2003 on his debut against Bolton. This skinny kid, wearing the great number seven shirt, came on and Manchester United fans everywhere saw a glimpse of a potentially world-class footballer.

Over his 196 league appearances for Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo thrilled with 84 goals. He won the Ballon D'or, the PFA's Players' Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year in the same season becoming only the second player in history to do this, alongside Andy Gray (1977).

He left as one of the best players in the world and a football legend. He returns as arguably an even better footballer. In an amazing three-and-a-half year spell at Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo has amassed an outstanding 136 goals in 126 league appearances. This is a ridiculous achievement, considering there was massive pressure on him from his first kick in the Spanish capital.

Will the emotion get to him?

Xabi Alonso stated: "I think he will have a great reception but once the kick-off happens, he will just be thinking about doing the best for our team. Hopefully it will be a great night for him."

It is a great question and one the world cannot wait to be answered.

What we do know is that he will receive a fantastic reception from all spectators and when 'Viva Ronaldo' rings out around Old Trafford, Cristiano Ronaldo will truly feel proud and honoured. 

Topics:
#Xabi Alonso
#Manchester United
#Cristiano Ronaldo
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