Peter Schmeichel on What Cristiano Ronaldo Return Means to United


Perhaps CBS Sports Serie A announcer Giuseppe Rossi said it best, on a press call two days ago: “Ronaldo is Ronaldo we don’t have to really say much more about him, great players they always find a way.”

Indeed Cristiano Ronaldo did all that and more, bagging a brace in his Manchester United re-debut, and leading his side to a 4-1 win over Newcastle United today.

But it was on the very same press call that United club legend Peter Schmeichel MBE perfectly expressed what Ronaldo coming home means to United and their supporters this season.

“It’s a marquee signing- one of the best signings the club has made in 10 years,” Schmeichel said of the Portugese magnifico, who started and played all 90 today.

“I think we as fans have been hoping for something of this caliber- people say he’s way past his sell by date, he’s not as good as he’s been, but the fact is, in his ‘weak season’ at Juventus, which was three years ago, he scored 28 goals.

“Last season he scored 37 goals, if he scores half that many at Manchester United (this campaign), it’s going to be a fantastic season.”

Ronaldo got two today, just before halftime, and again in the 62′. The win brought United back to the top of the table, as they have taken 10 points, with a +8 goal differential, from the first four games.

Schmeichel, who won five FA Premier League titles, three FA Cups, one League Cup, and the UEFA Champions League during his eight years at United, also discussed the impact Ronaldo will have on United’s European chances.

“And because of who he is, the experience he has in the international level, it gives us a shot at competing until the very end in the Champions League,” the Danish goalkeeping legend added.

Ronaldo has won five UCL titles over the course of his very distinguished career, and even Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher begrudgingly admitted how massive this signing is for his arch-rivals (although he also tried to throw some cold water on the concept during this press call).

“I’ve never seen so many ex Manchester United players almost lovestruck by the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo,” Carragher said.

“It’s a huge moment for them, he’s one of the greatest players of all-time no doubt.”

And you could not have asked for a better start to CR7’s second stint at the club.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune.

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