Cristiano Ronaldo on Tuesday participated in his first Manchester United practice session since returning to his old club following his $28 million transfer from Italian side Juventus.
Ronaldo was given permission to leave Portugal national team camp early after picking up a suspension for yellow card accumulation that ruled him out of the nation’s qualifier against Azerbaijan. His two late goals on Sept. 1 helped Portugal to a stunning 2-1 comeback win against the Republic of Ireland and also helped him set a men’s world record for international goals. But Ronaldo received a yellow card after removing his shirt to celebrate the second goal, leading to the suspension.
The timing worked out for the 36-year-old, who had to quarantine for five days upon his return to England. He finally met up with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and a number of his new Manchester United teammates at Carrrington training ground as he gets set for his potential second debut on Saturday, Sept. 11 against Newcastle United.
Ronaldo established himself as a United legend during his first spell with the club between 2003 and 2009, winning three Premier League titles and the Champions League, while also hitting the back of the net 118 times.
He will now have four more days to get up to speed before United’s next Premier League outing, with Newcastle due to arrive at Old Trafford on Saturday. Ronaldo had completed preseason training with Juventus prior to his transfer in the days leading up to the Aug. 31 close.
What number will Ronaldo wear?
Ronaldo left Manchester United in 2009 after donning the No.7 shirt at Old Trafford, but he picked up the same number during his time with both Real Madrid and Juventus to keep up the promotion of his ‘CR7’ brand.
There was some speculation over whether he would have to wear a different number after re-signing for United, with Edinson Cavani having donned the No. 7 after his arrival at the club on a free transfer in the summer of 2020.
However, Cavani agreed to pass the shirt back to Ronaldo and take up the No. 21 instead, which he also wears at international level for Uruguay.
First training session back at #MUFC for Cristiano Ronaldo! ✅