Thursday, October 21, 2021

Ronaldo to start against Villarreal and break Champions League record

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 29 Sep 2021

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Cristiano Ronaldo has been named in the starting line-up for Manchester United against Villarreal, meaning he will break the Champions League appearance record.

The Portugal international will lead the line for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

That will give him his 178th appearance in Europe’s elite club competition, surpassing the number of outings made by his former Real Madrid team-mate Iker Casillas.

Ronaldo is already the Champions League’s all-time record goalscorer, with 135 strikes from his previous 177 appearances for United, Madrid and Juventus.

While he played in United’s opening Group F game at Young Boys, a surprise 2-1 defeat, this will be Ronaldo’s first Champions League game at Old Trafford for United since an April 2009 tie against Arsenal. 

Elsewhere, United have had to embark on a defensive reshuffle with captain Harry Maguire out injured and right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka suspended. 

There were hopes Luke Shaw would be able to be involved, but he was unable to make the matchday squad. Victor Lindelof, Diogo Dalot and Alex Telles consequently joined Raphael Varane in defence.

Further forward, Jadon Sancho replaced Fred in a line-up filled with firepower up front.

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