• ‘I love Manchester. To be back, I never know, you never know’
• Real Madrid forward unlikely to feature in Michigan friendly
Cristiano Ronaldo has raised the hopes of Manchester United by admitting he could one day return to Old Trafford, saying that he still has love for the club.
Ronaldo left United for Spain in 2009 having won every domestic honour, and the Champions League. Speaking to MUTV he said: “It was one of my favourite clubs, Manchester [United]. Everyone knows that every time when I speak about Real Madrid I should speak about Manchester United, I loved it there. I was 18 years old [when I joined], I won everything there, the people treat me like a god so I appreciate it, and in the future nobody knows.
“It’s crazy. I remember when we played there against Manchester in the Champions League, they kill me. My heart was so happy. I had fantastic moments and I appreciate this club. For me it’s one of the best clubs in the world and I have passion for this club. Some players I am still in contact with because when I was there I created a good relationship with everybody, not just the players, all the staff around. And it was like my second family there too, so I’ll not forget that the people treat me well. I’ll not forget.
“I love Manchester, to be back, I never know, you never know. Of course I’m happy at Real Madrid, it’s my home, it’s my club but Manchester treat me unbelievable so we never know.”
The forward has just returned from a post-World Cup month break and Carlo Ancelotti, his coach, has indicated the forward would not feature against his former club. Yet Ronaldo is keen to do so. “We have discussed to put me on, but let’s see, I want to play a little bit because it’s my ex-club,” he said.
Ronaldo also believes that United will have a far better campaign next term with Louis van Gaal as manager, after last season’s disastrous defence of the championship when the club finished seventh. “He is a fantastic coach, he showed all the time for Holland, the team played unbelievable, good football,” Ronaldo said of how Van Gaal led the Dutch to the semi-finals of Brazil 2014. “And I hope that Manchester come back like the people know – always so strong, playing nice football, with a lot of goals.”
In Real’s final game of last season Ronaldo won the European Cup and afterwards Sir Alex Ferguson, his former manager, congratulated him. “I was with Sir Alex when we won the Champions League,” he said. “I was in the doping [control] and he came in there to see me and to speak with me. Manchester United [miss] him because he was there for 20 years at the club and he wins everything. But I think Van Gaal is going to do a fantastic job, he’s an experienced manager and he’s going to do well for Manchester.”