Cristiano Ronaldo’s stirring speech to his Manchester United team-mates ahead of his sensational second debut saw him demand them to ‘sacrifice everything’ for the club, according to reports.
The superstar delivered some words to the squad prior to stepping out to a rapturous reception at Old Trafford and scoring twice, and told them his aim is to win trophies and bring back the glory days.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said that Ronaldo had spoken to his new colleagues the evening before his first game back at United in 12 years, and The Sun have now revealed what he said.
‘Ronaldo’s speech was very powerful and uplifting. The whole group of players and coaching staff listened in silence,’ a source told The Sun.
‘He told his team-mates: “I have returned to Man United for two reasons.
‘The first is because I love the club. The second is I love the winning mentality that breeds through the ranks of this club.
‘I have not come back to be a cheerleader. If you guys want to succeed, then I need you to love this club from the bottom of your hearts.
‘You need to eat, sleep and fight for this club. Whether you play or do not play, you need to support your teammates and always give 100 per cent for the club.
‘I am here to win and nothing else. Winning brings us happiness. I want to be happy, do you?”‘
Insisting that United have ‘taken a fall’ in the years after Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure, Ronaldo also told his team-mates that they have his full belief, and the quality needed to ‘dominate’ once again.
‘You are all amazing players and I believe in you, or else I would have not returned,’ Ronaldo is believed to have added.
‘The fans will support you, if you give your best. I just want to create a winning mentality, so when I do retire one day, the winning mentality will remain, and this group of players will dominate football, like we did in the past.
‘I will do my best for the team but I need your support too. Are you ready to fight? Are you ready to leave everything on the pitch?”‘
Ronaldo was then reportedly treated to a round of applause, and his words looked to have sparked an instant reaction.
United, on the veteran forward’s homecoming, beat Newcastle 4-1 amid an electric atmosphere, with Ronaldo himself marking the occasion with his brace.
Boss Solskjaer said in his pre-match press conference ahead of United’s Champions League opener at Young Boys that, while not the final pieces of the puzzle, Ronaldo and Raphael Varane can turn United into contenders.
‘We’re getting the spine of the team, and you can see the experience and quality,’ said Solskjaer.
‘Of course, with Raphael and Cristiano coming in, they add that last… not last bit, you can never say it’s the last bit. It’s something extra we have to buy unless you win it four times yourself.
‘That was always the plan when I came in, that we had a squad with experience and quality to challenge. The atmosphere is really good and that’s definitely going to stand us in good stead.’
Ronaldo is also eyeing up a record in the Champions League. If he plays, he will equal former Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas’ record of 177 appearances.
‘It’s great to have Cristiano back at home,’ Solskjaer added. ‘The impact showed on the first day we played, with two very important goals for us.
‘You know the qualities, the experience of Cristiano is amazing. It’s massive for us. He’s a legend here and it’s great to have him back.’