The first international break of the season has, for many, been merely a sidenote to the return of Cristiano Ronaldo. The 36-year-old sealed a sensational homecoming on deadline day and since then, the coverage has been endless.
Ronaldo featured in his nation’s first match of the break as he casually became the all-time leading goalscorer in men’s international football, surpassing Ali Daei’s previous mark of 109 goals. A late double against a resilient Ireland side ensured Portugal won in their World Cup qualifier.
His celebration earned him a suspension, clearing him to leave the camp early and start training with his new Manchester United teammates. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side welcome Newcastle to Old Trafford on Saturday, and in an interview with Wes Brown, the forward has joked he will be putting pressure on Solskjaer to start him in the game.
“I did not expect to start or to even come on in the game [in 2003], so I was super nervous,” he told ManUtd.com as he recalled the day of his debut against Bolton.
“Of course I will be nervous on Saturday, but I am more mature, I am more experienced, I will be prepared and I am going to make pressure to Ole now to start in the XI [laughs]. I am ready to go!”
It remains to be seen whether Ronaldo’s pressure has paid off but should he remain fit for the entirety of the season, he will always be more likely to play rather than warm the bench.