Cristiano Ronaldo has returned to Manchester United to be the main man. And three goals in two games have shown the Portugal international is eager to be Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s leader as they look to win the Premier League title. However, after two games, it’s clear he’s already in a direct scrap with Bruno Fernandes when it comes to being the talisman of this side.
Ronaldo had looked set to join Manchester City towards the end of the summer transfer window.
With Pep Guardiola missing out on Harry Kane, they then turned their attentions towards landing the 36-year-old.
Except, then, United got involved. And the moment that happened, there was only ever going to be one outcome.
The Red Devils confirmed on deadline day that Ronaldo would be back and, days later, that he’d be wearing the No 7 jersey again as well.
And, so far, United’s decision to re-sign the Portugal international has been proven right.
Ronaldo hit the ground running last weekend, bagging a brilliant brace in a stirring 4-1 victory over Newcastle.
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And he then followed that up with a goal on his second Champions League debut for the club, notching in a 2-1 defeat to Young Boys.
But when it comes to being the talisman, the main man of this side, Ronaldo won’t have everything his own way.
And that’s because of Fernandes.
The Portugal international has done precious little wrong since joining from Sporting Lisbon in January 2020, almost single-handedly driving the club up the table.
With 30 goals from 55 Premier League matches since joining, he’s delivering with unnerving consistency.
And, since Ronaldo’s return, he’s shown he’s not willing to be overshadowed at the club.
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The way he netted against Newcastle last weekend spoke volumes.
Fernandes smashed the ball home from the edge of the box, wowing an Old Trafford crowd that had previously been signing Ronaldo’s name all game long.
It sent a message that, while Ronaldo was back, he wanted the headlines and the spotlight as well.
And Fernandes’ delicious assist for Ronaldo against Young Boys also gave off the air of a player eager to please supporters, too.
It was a sumptuous pass, delivered with the outside of his boot where his compatriot was on hand to tap home from close range.
Then, it’s also worth considering the way the pair behaved on the touchline once Solskjaer took them off.
Neither wanted to just sit down. Instead, both Ronaldo and Fernandes barked orders alongside Solskjaer as they looked to secure a draw.
It’ll be fascinating to see how this power battle pans out as the months go on.
Neither will be content with taking a backseat role, instead both being eager to be the leaders of this team with their virtuoso performances.
And when they face off against West Ham on Sunday, the pair will be hoping to find the net.
Fernandes and Ronaldo both sent out similar messages after the defeat to Young Boys on Tuesday night.
The former said: “Wasn’t the result we wanted.
“But now it’s time to recover well and focus on the next game!”
And Ronaldo said: “Gutted not to win the first Champions League game of the season.
“Time to react and bounce back on Sunday.”