Neville delivers his verdict on Ronaldo's second United debut

Manchester United legend Gary Neville has run the rule over Cristiano Ronaldo’s second Old Trafford debut.

Ronaldo bagged a brace as Newcastle were dispatched 4-1 and Neville spoke about the Portuguese superstar on Sky Sports Monday Night Football.

Neville said that he thinks ‘Ronaldo is the greatest football player that has ever lived’, sparking a debate with fellow pundit Jamie Carragher.

He also spoke about Ronaldo’s debut and what he can bring to the table now, even at 36.

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“I’ve not seen Manchester like that for 10-15 years. It was almost like Hollywood. That’s when you realise Ronaldo’s stature,” said Neville.

“It is Ronaldo-mania. So exciting for Manchester United. He’s an absolute star. There was never a second where I thought he wouldn’t score on Saturday. There are only very few sportspeople who can deliver like that.

“He’s the most driven to score goals. Manchester United’s ground was an absolute dream [when the second goal went in]. He’s a very special sportsperson, and an unbelievable star. We’re so excited about what’s to come.

“He’ll make movements which are outstanding and make the difference in tight games. United had seven 0-0s last season and finished 12 points behind City. Win those games and United are champions.”

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Ronaldo already having an impact

Ronaldo has already lifted the club, and the fans off the pitch. There’s a good chance he’s already lifted the levels in training.

He won’t accept second best and the players have a driven, hugely professional winner in the ranks now.

Ronaldo loves scoring in the Champions League and will hope to find the back of the net as United kick off their quest for European glory against Young Boys tonight.

Carragher also said elsewhere in the show that Ronaldo would go down as United’s greatest ever player – if he isn’t already – if he brought the Premier League or Champions League back to Old Trafford.

That’s a debate to be had if United do scoop that major silverware but if anybody is capable of pulling off the spectacular, it’s Ronaldo.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.