One day before being let loose on the Premier League again, Cristiano Ronaldo visited the Old Trafford pitch to deliver a simple message: ‘I’m ready.’
The Newcastle United defence is set to be the first charged with containing Ronaldo since his shock return to England, 12 years after leaving for Real Madrid.
Manchester United’s home ground was the stage that transformed Ronaldo from greasy-haired teenager to world superstar, and it will welcome him back on Saturday afternoon with a rush of memories.
The 36-year-old has already paid his footballing spiritual home a visit, donning United’s No 7 to stroll down the tunnel for an interview with old Red Devils team-mate Wes Brown.
The former defender asked the Ronaldo whether proving himself once more was the motivation to come back.
‘This is why I am here,’ the icon said on MUTV.
‘I am capable, me and my team-mates. I am ready to go, I am ready to go. It is a good chance for me, for the supporters, for the club, to get one step ahead.
‘I am ready and I think I will be a huge thing in the next three or four years.’
Ronaldo looked around the 76,000-seater venue in wonder as he emerged onto the pitch, before spreading his arms wide as he soaked up the ground he’ll have rocking by kick-off on Saturday.
United posted a video of the moment on Twitter, simply writing: ‘He’s home.’