Cristiano Ronaldo revealed he was “super nervous” ahead of his glorious second Manchester United debut against Newcastle United on Saturday.
The former Juventus forward lit up Old Trafford, opening the scoring before half-time and restoring the hosts’ lead following Javier Manquillo’s equaliser.
Bruno Fernandes and Jesse Lingard added late strikes to seal a routine win for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, who have 10 points from their opening four Premier League games this season.
Aged 36 years and 218 days, Portuguese superstar Ronaldo is the oldest player to score a brace in a Premier League match since Graham Alexander for Burnley against Hull City in April 2010 (38y 182d).
His return to United after a 12-year absence looked seamless, but Ronaldo admitted he was tense about proving he could still contribute to the Red Devils’ title challenge.
“I didn’t expect to score two goals. I expect one but not two. I have to appreciate the fans and what they did to me today. I feel so proud for that,” he told BBC Sport.
“The most important thing was to win and to win games. Manchester [United] needs to be where they deserve. It is to win, to build the team and build the club and the mentality.
“This is what we are looking for. Of course, I am happy to score goals I am not going to deny that but the most important thing is the team and the team played good.
“It is unbelievable. When I started the game I was so nervous, I swear. It is normally because I did not expect that they would sing my name all game.
“I was very nervous but maybe I didn’t show but I was. I was super nervous and was thinking last night that I wanted to play good and show I was still capable of helping the team.
“The reception is incredible but I am here to win games and help the team. This club is unbelievable and I am so proud. I am going to give everything to make them proud of me.
“Everyone knows the football in England is different than in any part of the world and to be honest it is the most special one. I arrived here at 18 and they treated me unbelievably and that is why I am back.”
Ronaldo could make his second Champions League debut for United on Tuesday when they travel to Switzerland to face Young Boys.
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