Cristiano Ronaldo will be making his first derby appearance for Manchester United in over a decade when they lock horns with Manchester City at Old Trafford on Saturday. The Portugal international scored the last time he appeared in this fixture, back in May 2009. However, he was also furious at Sir Alex Ferguson on the day.
Manchester United met with City back in 2009 looking to boost their chances of winning the Premier League title.
And they did exactly that, putting their fierce rivals to the sword to move one step closer to the crown.
United went ahead in the first half through Ronaldo, whose deflected free-kick wrong-footed goalkeeper Shay Given.
And Carlos Tevez then netted against his future employers to make the game safe, sending a message to Ferguson via his celebration in the process.
With United having a big Champions League final clash with Barcelona coming up, however, Ferguson then decided to bring Ronaldo off.
And it’s fair to say the 36-year-old was absolutely livid with his manager’s decision.
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Ronaldo, upon seeing his number come up, stormed off the field with his head down muttering to himself.
He snatched his tracksuit from the assistant kit man before throwing it to the ground in anger.
And Ronaldo was seen muttering under his breath upon sitting with the substitutes, with Ferguson clearly the person he was directing his anger towards.
However, the Scot did his best to downplay the incident after the match – insisting he was relaxed about the situation.
“It is great that he wanted to play on,” said Ferguson, whose United team would go on to lose to Barcelona in that year’s Champions League final.
“It is fabulous. But I have to look at the big picture.
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“He produced an incredible performance against Arsenal on Tuesday. He ran his socks off.
“Now I have Wednesday and Saturday to look after. There is no problem.”
And Dwight Yorke also opened up on the incident at the time, branding Ronaldo as ‘out of order’ for his actions.
He said: “When you look at what is happening at United – going for the title and in the Champions League final – everything is great.
“Then you get someone behaving like that. To throw away his tracksuit top and huff and puff is uncalled for and out of order, there is no need.”
Ronaldo is expected to start against City on Saturday.
And he’ll be going up against the team he nearly joined back in the summer transfer window, before he returned to Old Trafford instead.
City had looked set to win the race for Ronaldo after missing out on Harry Kane, who stayed at Tottenham.
But United then swooped in to hijack the transfer, bringing their No 7 back in a sensational Hollywood homecoming.
Ahead of the match against City, Ronaldo hasn’t disappointed.
The former Juventus and Real Madrid star has scored nine times across all competitions, including two against Atalanta in midweek.
And Paul Merson has now admitted he was wrong to question Ronaldo when he returned to United earlier in the year.
“It’s got to be one of the best finishes of all-time; it’s just out of absolutely nothing,” Merson said of his late leveller against Atalanta.
“He didn’t touch the ball in the second half. Not through his fault, he just didn’t get the service.
“But it comes to him and there’s no snatching at it, he hits through the ball perfectly.
“It’s absolutely phenomenal and his first goal was brilliant as well.
“I was one of the big critics. I was one who wasn’t sure about him coming back.
“But if you give him chances, he will score goals. Thirty-six or 46, it doesn’t make any difference, he will finish.”