Ronaldo reflects on emotional night

by Michelle Fortune , 14 February 2013

Cristiano Ronaldo is looking forward to playing at Old Trafford again after an emotional reunion with his former side on Wednesday night.

Ronaldo came up against Manchester United for the first time since leaving the club when the Red devils travelled to the Bernabeu for the Champions League last 16 first-leg against Real Madrid.

It proved to be an emotional occasion for the Portuguese as he scored Real's first-half equaliser after Danny Welbeck had put the visitors ahead.

However, he refused to celebrate out of respect for his former club and he knows his return to Old Trafford will be just as emotional.

"I was in Manchester for six years so tonight was very emotional for me. I scored a goal but I didn't celebrate out of respect," Ronaldo explained.

"Maybe United are favourites now, maybe not. Anything can happen.

"Sometimes we are better away than at home so we will see.

"It will be amazing to play at Old Trafford again after four years. It will be another emotional night."

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson paid tribute to his former charge and admitted he had put the blame on Patrice Evra for his failure to challenge Ronaldo in the build up to the equaliser.

"I spoke to him. He is sitting in our dressing room, talking to the lads. He had six years with us and I am proud of how he flourished," Ferguson revealed.

"I blamed Patrice Evra for not challenging for his goal until I saw the replay and felt a bit stupid.

"His knee is about as high as Evra's head - phenomenal.

"I don't think any other player in the world can do that, certainly not Messi."

The 1-1 draw means United take back a vital away goal for the return leg at Old Trafford on March 5 but Ferguson believes David De Gea played a big role in ensuring the visitors did not lose.

"De Gea was excellent. He made three or four top saves," the Scot added. "He has been improving all season.

"There was one save in the first half which he touched onto the post (from Coentrao) which was superb.

"I am pleased for him. He is an Atletico boy playing here in Madrid, but he has done well."

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