Cristiano Ronaldo may have been in Portugal, but he was everywhere at Molineux.
The striker is set to complete a stunning return to Manchester United before today’s transfer deadline day and, even though he is in Lisbon having a medical, his presence was felt before, during and after Sunday’s 1-0 win against Wolves.
United fans were in a carnival mood, celebrating the imminent arrival of one of their greatest, and it was an outpouring of love rarely seen for any player.
“Viva Ronaldo, running down the wing, hear United sing, viva Ronaldo”, was the song sung by United fans on the trains to the West Midlands, on the walk to the stadium, inside the Molineux concourse and in the stands.
United fans wore CR7 T-shirts, waved ‘welcome back Ronaldo’ signs and held up cardboard cutouts of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
And the supporters were not the only ones in celebratory mood.
“It’s like a dream to have him back, it will be great – it’s already great, you can feel it in the atmosphere,” United keeper David de Gea told Sky Sports after the game.
“Hopefully he can bring something special to make the team even better.”
Ronaldo could make his second United debut against Newcastle on September 11 in front of what will be an expectant and jubilant Old Trafford crowd.
“He’s a special boy, or man now – he was a boy when I played with him. Of course we want to get that over the line,” said United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
“Of course the players are excited – some have played with him in their national team. You see the fans – they’re excited. That’s what he does, he’s a special player.”
United’s performance against Wolves, despite the win, was far from sparkling and could well have been lifted by the intervention of a player who has scored 476 goals in 586 league appearances – perhaps increasing the likelihood the 36-year-old will feature immediately after the international break.
“He is not signing to sit on the bench. He is going to make us a better team,” said Solskjaer.-BBC