It’s fair to say the view in Italy has been divided on Cristiano Ronaldo since he left.
Ronaldo was the top scorer with Juventus and there was no doubting his individual quality.
But Juventus managed to go backwards last season and that reflected poorly on Ronaldo, whether that was fair or not.
Wednesday night was Ronaldo’s first match against an Italian team since he left Juventus, and he seemed motivated to prove a point.
Atalanta got the better of Juventus last season and this time Ronaldo was determined to have the final say.
Italian press react to Ronaldo performance
Ronaldo’s winner made headline news as he sunk Atalanta after their promising first half.
The goal capped a 3-2 comeback for United after a spirited second half fightback.
TMW wrote: “He should be the perfect frontman for a United that has champions in every department. Until the last minute he would be insufficient, then he had the song of a champion.”
La Gazzetta dello Sport wrote: “Cristiano Ronaldo (who but him?) crushes Shaw’s cross from the left to perfection with his head. It’s the overtaking goal, it’s the 3-2 that breaks Atalanta’s dream.”
But the newspaper was not entirely complimentary. Ronaldo was awarded just a 6/10 in their player ratings.
Former Juventus midfielder Alessandro Tacchinardi was more generous. He told TMW: “I am impressed by the wickedness that Cristiano Ronaldo still shows, he still wants to show so much, like a kid.
Whether Ronaldo is your favourite player or not, there is no denying his character.
He stepped up in a big moment to deliver when Manchester United needed him most.
It was not the first time and it certainly won’t be the last.
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