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Ronaldo: I Still Love United

Ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford to play Manchester United in the Champions League with Real Madrid, he has spoken of his feelings for his former club.

“I still have a great feeling of friendship and love for them, they are a team that have done a lot for my career,” said Ronaldo. “The fans know me well and I have a lot of friends there that I keep close to my heart. But now I’m defending Real Madrid’s colours. It’s a bit of a sad feeling I guess. But I want to score, and for us to win, and that would make everything better.”


About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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142 Comments

  1. parryheid says:

    Said previously I don’t see any of the fifteen teams capable of beating United in a two legged tie.This is very much Uniteds game.the knockout final is a different matter though which is why I hope we have met Barca prior to reaching it.

  2. kanchelskis says:

    @parryheid

    It’s a pleasure to see you so optimistic, but I still don’t understand this dramatic change from the start of the season, when – if I remember rightly – you were telling us all to expect a pretty poor season, even after the signing of RVP…

  3. Costas says:

    @WeAreUnited

    Young has been our best winger since the Reading game? I thought he was only starting by default? :lol:

    You know, after the City game I suspected that Ashley Young over the top critisism would be seen again. I just didn’t suspect that all it would take would be a couple of weeks. Deal Lord…

  4. denton davey says:

    kanchelskis @ 15:34: “it’s probably just my memory – but I’m struggling to recall any point-blank misses from Young.”

    I’m probably older than you BUT I remember three in one match and then another one in the next match – I just don’t remember who TheLads played (Newcastle = 3; West Brom = 1, I think). I also commented on the misses after both matches but I’ve let that information slip into the nether-reaches of my memory bank.

    With regard to the play of UTD’s wingers – isn’t it odd that Young is missing open shots on goal, AV7 is in a form-slump, and Nani is still “in Coventry” YET TheLads are still scoring more than anyone else. Must be that “shitty midfield”, eh ? Or, to put a more positive spin, what’s going to happen when SAF gets to choose a fully match-fit and game-ready first eleven ?

  5. kanchelskis says:

    @denton

    Ah, I didn’t watch the Newcastle match and most highlights packages only had time for the seven goals, so I’ll take your word for it.

    Against WBA, do you mean the one Foster saved? Cos for me, that was just a damn good save.

    And there’s been an update on Nani at last … he’s back in training!

  6. King Eric says:

    Daniel – Yeah typical of you to name a United side with hardly any United players actually in it! Fellaini and Moutinho in centre midfield. Yeah thats gonna work seeing as though Fellani plays off a striker.

  7. King Eric says:

    United Till I Die – Alright pal. We DO have one more title than Liverpool!!!

  8. King Eric says:

    United Till I die – Just read your later post where you corrected yourself. My apologies.

    Is Rooney out for another 2 weeks? I actually think its bollocks as Fergie said before the Wigan game “I DON’T THINK Rooney will feature tomorrow”. I think he may start tomorrow. Certainly be back for the dippers.

  9. King Eric says:

    United Till I Die – I disagree mate to an extent. Even in the barren 70 and 80′s United were still deemed the “glamour ” club and the bigger of the two. We have always been the bigger club.

  10. WeAreUnited says:

    @Costas

    haha, for me Ashley Young has been outstanding by his standards, yes he’s not in that Aston Villa form yet, but he pops up in odd games and does well in big game matches. I don’t know the complain.

    His beginning of the season was very hard and he also got injured. He came back and played 2 or 3 games, can’t recall badly, but then he picked himself up and since the REading game has been our best winger, so don’t get the fuss.

    And about that point blank shot? Like @kanchelskis said, it was a effin unbeliavable reation save from Foster. can’t complain on that. :) the misfoot kick, it happens dudess.

    just realise that, Ashley Young wasn’t bought to be our saviour, but to play his part and pop odd goals here and there, when Nani comes back and returnes on form and Valencia goes on form also, then Youngie will have it hard, btu until then it’s other wingers to fight for the left-winger place.

  11. fergie is the boss says:

    King Eric – I think the guy is just trolling, my stance has changed since we beat shitty, we showed we can match nearly any side in europe, barca is still a tricky one because of the fantastic 4. But anyone else we are easy a match, or better than most of those sides. And I think we have found a perfect balance in midfield, carrick and cleverlys form, has really transformed the fortunes of our engine room, in the summer I do feel we need one more CM, and 2 more defenders

  12. Zemmamma777 says:

    Here’s the lineup I’d want for the tie, ideally:
    De Gea
    Rafael Vidic Rio Evra
    Carrick Ando
    Wazza Nani
    Clevz
    RvP

    By now, DDG, Rafa, Vida, RvP and Pat are givens. I’d pick Rio really for his experience, but I would maybe vouch for one of the younger CBs (Jonny, Smalling, or Jonesy) because they’ve maybe got more legs to deal with any pacey front men of Real’s, but current form at that time will tell. The Carrick/Ando/Clevz diamond has been argued already, so I won’t elaborate further. Rooney and Nani I include for the former’s influence when he’s on the pitch. It’s a whole different United when he’s on his game, and Nani because of the unpredictability you get with him. Young and TonyV have been doing great, I just find they’re a little too cut-and-dry and TonyV hasn’t been the same of late, so that’s why I disclude him. Both Nani and Wazza can change the game in a heartbeat and I feel that you need that and they’ve both got that magic in them that can hopefully unlock the Real defence repeatedly and give RvP some service. They can swap wings, too, and I’d maybe swap Nani with Valencia to get that partnership with Rafael, which means putting Rooney on the left.

  13. WeAreUnited says:

    Zemmamma77

    take clevs out and put Kagawa on that sheet, and we’re a force.

    Clevs could play instead of Carrick or Ando.

    And this line-up if everyone are in form, but that should be the case when playing for ManUtd.

  14. parryheid says:

    kanchelskis,

    pretty straightforward at the start of the season the surrender of the previous season was very fresh in my mind and still not forgotten I saw massive holes in our team defence Evra who I hoped would regain some kind of form.He has, helped by the signing of Buttner,Midfield and my main source of concern nobody being bought I reckon we need Two still,I accept a bit of improvement with cleverly but Scholes deary me and it takes some willpower to mention the name of the egg on legs Anderson.Van Persie I have recognized always as a quality player but preferred our mid sorted out first yet recognize he is dragging perfomances from others to the extent I consider our back line solid and our front line lethal.Midfield problem being overun is still there but in the European comp we can over come it by strangling the away games with bodies.But how the fuck the rest of the league have let us away wth it so far totally bemuses me.

  15. TheCANTONA says:

    January 4, 2013 at 03:40
    Daniel88 says:

    De Gea

    Rafael Evans Vidic Coentrão

    Ronaldo Fellaini Moutinho Bale

    Van Persie Rooney

    —————————————————————————————————————————————-

    This boring twat surely spent too much time on Football Manager. it wont works in real football though. Fellaini who loves to going forward would leave big hole in the middle and a tiny playmaker like joao moutinho wont be able to cover him.

  16. redAlbania says:

    Fuck Off, you will cry again!

  17. fergie is the boss says:

    WeAreUnited – that lineup is BS, what has kagwa done, that says,he can play ahead of cleverly. This love in some fans have for nani makes me laugh, he has done nowt since 2011, For me uniteds best 11, is the one that beat shitty end of. Until I see the likes of kagwa and nani prove they are good enough to play every week the best 11 is?

    DDG
    rafeal ferinand evans evra
    carrick cleverly
    valencia rooney young
    RVP

  18. samuel - united WE stand says:

    The “love” they have for nani? What is this? Bridget jones diary?. Perhaps people acknowledge the quality of the players and if they step up, they will be in the starting line up. I don’t understand what is “laughable” about that fact.

  19. WeAreUnited says:

    @fergie the boss

    did you read my comment to the end.

    “And this line-up if everyone are in form, but that should be the case when playing for ManUtd.”

    Kagawa is an AM and Clevs is not, Kagawa can split defenses with his assists, Clevs not.
    CLevs is a amazing CM, there he uses his movement and intelligence much better. My favourite line-up would be Ando and Clevs there together, but Carrick has been so immense that one of the duo would be sacrificed.

    As for Nani, I counted that he would come in FORM, if not then obviously Valencia or Young would be ideal.

    That was my idea of the line-up with Kagawa and of course you mentioned Nani also so him too.
    FORM was the key of my line-up.

    be patient. the seasonb is long, if we would be realist and everyone would be in form and not injured, that would be the line-up. But this is not PES so it’s a bit hard :P

  20. Marq says:

    @Denton

    I am getting tired of your constant banging of Young missing sitters. For starters, Young didnt even play against Newcastle. It was against Swansea that he missed “sitters” and the fact that the chances didnt even make the highlights, show that it was not worth mentioning, let alone it being a sitter. He had a shot that was blocked by a last ditch slide in by Williams, with the goalkeeper still to be beaten, yea, that is a sitter for you? And he and another effort blocked on the line by a defender, another sitter? And the chance that Carrick played him in, he was just at the edge of the penalty, with the goalkeeper yet to be beaten, and you consider that a sitter too? Boy oh boy, you sure have high standards. So as long as someone has a shot inside the penalty, regardless of if there is a keeper or any defender near by, if it doesn’t go in, it is considered a sitter missed?

    Go watch it again and find people to agree that those are sitters then maybe we can talk.

  21. mara says:

    I have to say that it is sooooooooo gooooooooood to have player/striker RVP – in this example, who is world class…that you dont have to worry about scoreing goals, you just sitt and watch, enjoy. I wish us one or two in the middle

  22. TheyAlwaysScore says:

    One of the very few players to leave against SAF’s wishes.. does he regret it?

    Speaking of players and their happiness at United, did anyone notice the photo album posted on Facebook by United, showing a happy and content training camp? Is it just a coincidence that they’ve been released at the same time as the Balotelli lovers’ tiff? Or has Fergie taken his mind games to Facebook?

  23. parryheid says:

    How long will Tevez permit Balotelli to upstage him in the outrage stakes without trumping him I wonder.

  24. United Till I Die says:

    @King Eric – alright mate? I imagined my posts on this thread might get some on here riled up, but I can’t be arsed to fuck about and always mince words with people, know what I mean?

    To me as a supporter we are the biggest club in the world hands down, but if we’re talking about domestic and European trophies sitting on shelves collecting dust, then Real Madrid are the biggest club in Europe whether we like it or not. Thats all im saying. So instead of playing it down or ignoring it, our lads should be motivated to acknowledge and overtake every record worth breaking. Its the same with LFC, we’ve outperformed them no end for decades so we’re obviously the bigger team. But in terms of Trophies sitting on the shelf, they remain the biggest English Club in Europe until we win 2 more CL Finals – and even then – we should be motivated to go on and be the first Club to win 10 European Finals…

    Onwards and upwards. Its as simple as that for me, and if our lads thought about it any other way that would make us a small Club with limited ambition. Knocking LFC off their perch is Ferguson’s greatest victory thus far, but its refreshing to hear him admit that only winning 2 European Titles during his time is his biggest regret. This season our chances are as good as any to improve on that, and I think the hunger to do so is what keeps our manager going. Long may that continue. Complacency is the only thing that can bring down United imo.

    @FITB – who is trolling?

  25. brett1985 says:

    The reason this United team is doing well is the nice balance between players who offer pure quality e.g. Van Persie and those players who may be less capable technically but at the same time really know what they are doing e.g. Carrick. We’ve also got a good mix of youth/energy and then the experienced players (unless Fergie risks the Carrick/Scholes/Giggs Trio in a single match but he wont do that in the big games).

    I’m also going to go a step further. People are rightly slow to recognise when a young player has made it. You don’t want to go overboard. I remember when Fletcher was derided by some but I was fairly sure he would make it and he surely did. Well, cleverly hasn’t come in for half as much stick (thankfully) but I’d even go so far as to say that he is terrific. He’s exactly the midfielder we need. He does everything right and he already does it. We are not waiting for next year. He’s good enough now.

    Dare I say it, I think we are fine for midfielders unless an absolute gem becomes available. I turn to left back and if we can get Baines at a good price it would be nice.

  26. WeAreUnited says:

    @UTID

    THIS

    “To me as a supporter we are the biggest club in the world hands down”

    AND THIS

    “if we’re talking about domestic and European trophies sitting on shelves collecting dust, then Real Madrid are the biggest club in Europe whether we like it or not. ”

    there’s nothing to wonder about.

  27. denton davey says:

    Marq @ 19:25: “He had a shot that was blocked by a last ditch slide in by Williams, with the goalkeeper still to be beaten, yea, that is a sitter for you?”

    Well, yeah. Because my view of that episode is rather different from yours. What I recall is that he was alone in the area and then took two or three touches to control the ball. Those two or three touches were enough to allow WIlliams to get himself in front of the shot and block it.

    Usually, when a quality attacking player is alone in the box with only the keeper to beat then I’d classify that chance as a “sitter”. The whiff in the other match (against West Brom ?) might have been caused by the lousy state of the pitch which caused the ball to bobble but no one mentioned that. What I saw was a ball that was played sideways to AY, who was completely wide-open just above the penalty spot; he fanned on his shot – what might be called an “air shot”.

    If I’m wrong then I’ll happily admit my “mistake” but in the Williams incident you mentioned – which I recall vividly – I am not convinced by your recall which is damned-nearly diametrically-opposed to mine since you neglect to mention the salient fact that Ashley Young’s shot was blocked BECAUSE he dawdled over the ball rather than shooting first-time. Was his control no good or did he think he had more time to shoot point-blank ? THAT we’ll never know but what I do know is that he never tested the keeper when he had the keeper unprotected and (I recall) out-of-position, too. AND he never tested the keeper in the West Brom match when the pass was completely whiffed. So, even if I give your testimony the benefit-of-the-doubt, that still makes two point-blank misses in consecutive matchers.

    But I’m not willing to give your testimony the benefit-of-the-doubt in both of the other two instances. I don’t remember the shot which was cleared off the line by the defender so I’ll grant you that one but I do have a memory of the over-the-top pass from MC16 that was not converted – and I do remember that Chicharito received a similar over-the-top pass from MC16 that was converted.

    So, taking these four instances into consideration, I disagree with you about three of them and can’t remember the fourth. (I don’t live in England so I don’t get to see match-of-the-day and the highlight packages shown in Toronto on FoxSportsWorld show goals, not misses).

    I know that you (and Wayne) have been pissed with my criticisms of Ashley Young and that’s your right. Sometimes we just see things differently; sometimes we don’t see the same thing. What I saw was four point-blank shooting opportunities – inside the box – and no end-product. To me, that was just awful; to you there were extenuating circumstances. That’s fair – in most trials, eye-witness testimony is considered the least reliable form of evidence.

  28. parryheid says:

    Sahin was availlable for free,we didnt even make an inquiry,odd that

  29. King Eric says:

    We are united. Carrick will be one of first names on sheet for Madrid.

  30. King Eric says:

    Sahin? Hardly been pulling up trees at dippers. Another nothing player. Flavour of month.

  31. WeAreUnited says:

    @KingEric
    if your comment was meant to say that I didnt’ want Carrick to the middle, my response is this

    I also truly believe that Carrick will be on the seet. I said this “My favourite line-up would be Ando and Clevs there together, but Carrick has been so immense that one of the duo would be sacrificed.”

    But If all our players would be in FORM, and I would have been the manager, I would put Clevs and Ando to the middle, Kagawa as a AM and Nani RM and Roonet LAM
    RVP CF

    nothing more :)

  32. WeAreUnited says:

    Sahin has been a disappointment, so glad we didn’t try to get him.

    to his defend, liverpool were/are awful, but so was Sahin there.

    maybe madrid can offer him somethign else.

    Real Madrid tends t odestroy careers, when players go there too early or without thinking (Kaka)

  33. Marq says:

    “Usually, when a quality attacking player is alone in the box with only the keeper to beat then I’d classify that chance as a “sitter”. ”

    There you go, your definition of a sitter is definitely different from 99% of us. That to us, is a chance, not a sitter. And the instant you choose to compare the fluffed shot by Young to the one scored by Hernandez showed that you have something against him. How many players can actually score from chances like that? Yes Hernandez did, but not many players can, or did. Just because someone did it, doesn’t mean it is as achievable as you make it. Why can’t Rvp or any of our players score with a bicycle kick from outside the penalty box ala Ibrahimovic?

    By your definition Rooney, Hernandez and even Rvp are missing sitters every other day, so why do you only pick on Young? Something against him? You tell me.

    You choose to pick on Young, that is your choice, and to us, it is plain obvious you have something against him. The only thing I ask of you is to never add “names” to our players’ name, that to me is beneath a real fan.

  34. mugagga Brian says:

    It ain’t a big deal Ronaldo shouldn’t worry coz we understand what happens in soccer but am assuring him we are gonna kick their ass come 13th

  35. King Eric says:

    I agree with Wayne on Madrid. An absolute sham all those first 5 or 6 European Cups. Franco paying off refs and opponents, Di Stefano the man who brought most of them to Madrid all set to sign for Barca till the dodgy transfer embargo on foreign players, only for him to rock up at Madrid. Hollow wins. Dispicable club.

  36. United Till I Die says:

    @King Eric, well they’re not called the fascists for nothing mate!

  37. United Till I Die says:

    Shouldn’t be surprising to anybody that the club with the most European Cups has a shared history with fascism. But the fact still stands, in terms of current records and the perception of most people in Europe, that the fascists are considered the biggest club in Europe by default. We can make of that what we will.

    Still doesn’t change anything over 90 minutes. I expected us to play them this season, and I think we’ll knock them out. If we manage that we’ve got the experience to probably go on and win it. Then we’ll have 4 European Cups without goose-stepping over anybody.

  38. parryheid says:

    World of difference turning out for United and turning out for Liverpool,point made he was available for wages for a season and if only if we wanted to keep him we could negotiate a transfer fee.This was preseason and we needed then and still do midfielders to me it was a no risk move that could have paid big dividends,his form for Liverpool has no bearing on the matter we are a different animal entirely.Could well underperform but there again maybe not.

  39. denton davey says:

    Marq @ 02:09: “By your definition Rooney, Hernandez and even Rvp are missing sitters every other day, so why do you only pick on Young? Something against him? You tell me.”

    That’s a partial response to me (@ 22:14). Of course, by my definition, every striker misses “sitters”. BUT the real issue is whether such misses are occasional or consistent, part of a pattern.

    SO, the very specific example I’ve used purports to show that AshleyYoung had four of these “sitters” in two consecutive matches – and missed on all four.

    I’ve also mentioned in earlier posts that when Dimmy missed two in the FACup semi-final against ManShitty in May, 2011, that SAF responded by essentially “sending him to Coventry”. Dimmy sat on the sidelines when UTD played Barcelona a couple of weeks later in the CL Final @ Wembley. When the 2011/2 season began, Dimmy was again left sitting on the “naughty step” and, despite being productive in the matches he played, he never again got regular playing time EVEN THOUGH he had been the EPL’s top-scorer in the previous season. Coincidence ? I don’t think so.

    Finally, as to your point that “it is plain obvious that you have something against him”, I can only repeat what I wrote to Wayne the other day – I never understood SAF’s willingness to spend 18 million on the guy. I was sceptical from the get-go. He played fairly well in the opening matches of 2011/2 – but when you thrash TheArse 8-2 then it’s not likely that anyone had a bad game. More to the point, however, I thought then that he was an unnecessary signing – the same money could have purchased Juan Mata who IS left-footed and a far, far more skilful player OR the same money could have been used to upgrade the central midfield.

    So, as they say from down in the USofA, “I’m from Missouri, prove it.” In my opinion, Ashley Young has not proven it.

    You guys – you and Wayne – seem to get all hot-and-bothered when I point out specific evidence to back up my argument. I’ve not provided similar evidence of not using his left foot, giving the ball away, slowing down the attack by not driving to the bye-line, and so on but I’ve seen plenty of evidence of all those things Just go back an re-watch the most recent match when he limped off after 75 minutes – by my reckoning, he was playing on the right (his preferred side) and did ONE THING expected of a UTD-quality winger – a terrific cross in the 59th minute (?) which Chicharito did not head into goal. I’m not blaiming Chicharito for that miss – he scored twice as you might recall AND all strikers miss “sitters”. What I am saying is that that cross was THE ONLY THING produced by Ashley Young, after missing on four point-blank chances in the previous two games.

    Of course there are always extenuating circumstances but when I see a consistent pattern of incompetence then I’m ready to comment on those specific instances. Why do you consider the reference to such examples to be evidence of prejudice ?

  40. Marq says:

    Young’s prefered side is the left wing. You don’t even know your own players, sad fan you are. And your so called evidence is based on 2 games of chances not converted, if that is a pattern to you, Valencia should be sold by now. And Rooney should be given a free transfer. Unneccessary signing? I’m more than happy Sir Alex makes the calls, and people like you don’t have any say. He is the reason we are still able to play 442 these days. The four chances are not sitters, period. And you still havent got anyone who thinks the same that those four should be goals. And Young is still playing, he is not dropped, prove that Sir Alex thinks that he is doing fine, not the horrible player you imagine

    Like I said, you are watching him with tinted glasses, I don’t intend to change your opinion. The only thing I have against you is you calling our players names unwarranted. Good that you removed it. If not I’d like to see how you’d react when people do it to you

  41. Marq says:

    How bout this. You drop the myth that Young missed 4 sitters and watch him afresh. Then you decide. You pick out everything does badly and I’ll pick out everything he does well for the next match?

  42. denton davey says:

    Marq @ 20:44: “How bout this. You drop the myth that Young missed 4 sitters and watch him afresh. Then you decide. You pick out everything does badly and I’ll pick out everything he does well for the next match?”

    OK – I’m not sure about “everything”; maybe just the high-lights and the low-lights. Just to answer you @ 20:40, I do not intend on nicknaming UTD players. Secondly, if AV7 plays consistently like he did yesterday then he should be benched.

    Finally, “Young is still playing, he is not dropped, prove that Sir Alex thinks that he is doing fine, not the horrible player you imagine” – maybe his recurrent selection has a lot to do with a lack of viable alternatives – AV7 has been dire and Nani is injured. BUT, then again, maybe SAF does think he’s doing fine. I don’t.

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