Cristiano Ronaldo has responded to Roy Keane’s ‘welcome back’ to Manchester United message following confirmation of his imminent return to Old Trafford.
The 36-year-old appeared to be on the verge of joining Manchester City on Friday morning having informed Juventus of his desire to leave the Italian giants, but United quickly mobilised and trumped their local rivals.
According to the Telegraph, Ronaldo successfully underwent a medical in Lisbon over the weekend and is likely to be in contention to make his second debut at an emotional homecoming against Newcastle after the international break.
A string of United legends have, understandably, been swept up in the hype that has accompanied Ronaldo’s return. Keane’s response, by contrast, was typically understated, posting a picture of his former teammate, accompanied by the caption ‘welcome back Cristiano’.
Ronaldo, aside from posting a farewell message to Juventus, the club at which he has spent the last three seasons, has remained quiet on social media over the course of a tumultuous 72 hours, but took the time to respond to his old captain with a high-five and thumbs up emoji.
Whether or not the acquisition of Ronaldo can turn United into title contenders remains to be seen, but speaking ahead of Sunday’s 1-0 win over Wolves, Keane aired his reservations.
He said: ‘I think the last few days when the news broke, it’s great news for United, for the fans, for the Premier League. There’s no doubt in my mind he’s still a world-class player.
‘Obviously we’ve discussed the plusses and minuses, people might have doubts about him, but the hunger and the desire is there for him. It’s certainly not a payday for him, the guy’s worth fortunes.
‘We saw in the Euros, he won the Golden Boot, the World Cup is a year-and-a-half away, he’ll have that incentive to keep going.
‘He’s a clever guy. He’s only coming back to Man United to win stuff.
‘My doubts are that I doubt think he’ll be the difference to win the big trophies, but to win an FA Cup or a League Cup is obviously more than possible.
‘He’ll bring a winning mentality to the dressing room. We all know he’s a fitness freak. His game has changed over the last few years, obviously. I’ve said it before, I think he’s one of the most intelligent players I’ve ever seen in my life with the way he’s adapted his game.
‘He’s a winner, he’s coming back to Man United to win stuff, make no mistake about that.
‘But Man United still have the same problems with or without Ronaldo and that is midfield and the goalkeeping problem, but for Ronaldo I think it’s great.
‘Since he was a kid, I will always remember when he first came to Man United he was 17, he came to Man United when he still had an opportunity to stay in Lisbon and he wanted to come to Man United, he wanted to win stuff.
‘We’ve seen that throughout is career at Real Madrid, Juventus, what he’s done with the national team, the guy is selfish, he’s greedy. Obviously we put him up there with Messi, these guys are born winners and they don’t want to relax.
‘I see a lot of plusses but the bigger picture, I still think for Man United, I still don’t think for one second it means they will win the league title.’
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