Cristiano Ronaldo’s rousing half-time message to Man Utd stars before Villarreal comeback


Cristiano Ronaldo has opened up on what he told Manchester United players before their sensational comeback against Villarreal on Wednesday night. The Red Devils weren’t at their best throughout the contest. But they still picked up all three points regardless, with the Portugal international the undisputed hero of the hour.

After losing to Young Boys in their Champions League opener, United couldn’t afford another difficult European night.

But they deservedly fell behind in the 55th minute, with Paco Alcacer notching to silence a packed Old Trafford crowd.

Rather than concede more, however, United then rallied. And it was Alex Telles, of all people, who drew them level.

The Brazil international notched his first goal for the club with a fine volley, converting after a neat pass from Bruno Fernandes.

And Ronaldo then brought the Theatre of Dreams to its feet by striking at the death following good work from Jesse Lingard and Edinson Cavani.

It wasn’t a vintage United display but, with three points now under their belt, they’re back on course to qualify for the competition’s knockout stages.

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Ronaldo did admit that he didn’t enjoy the best game against the La Liga side, but had a big smile on his face at the same time.

“It wasn’t my best, I don’t think I played so good,” he continued.

“But sometimes I play good I don’t score, and today I don’t play good so I scored.

“It’s very important. We knew if we didn’t get three points today it would be tough to go to the next stage. Now, anything is possible.

“This is why I came back, because I missed this club a lot. I made history in this club and I want to do it again.”

In a separate interview with MUTV, Ronaldo thanked United supporters for backing them during the hard times.

“Sometimes the players, we try to do our job, to play good and score goals but sometimes it is not possible,” he said.

“The fans have this role as well when the team is in a difficult moment, they need to push us.

“This is why I say and ask them if they can do that.

“They give us motivation to keep going and to keep running and keep believing.

“So, today, this is what we felt. We are so happy. A very important win and we are in a good way now.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, meanwhile, hailed his No 7 for his heroic exploits.

“He’s [Ronaldo] done that so many times,” Solskjaer said.

“When you saw him against the Republic of Ireland a few weeks ago [for Portugal], he missed a penalty early, didn’t touch the ball more or less and then scored two great headers in the last two minutes.

“That’s just what he’s done throughout his career. He’s so strong mentally.

“He stays in the game, I’ve seen him all day today, the way he’s built himself up for this game, how focused he’s been and when he gets that one chance, it’s a goal.

“But a true mark of a very good finisher is that he keeps calm when the chance arrives.

“He’s so good in front of goal and he has an impact on everyone – the crowd, the players, everyone.”



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