Manchester United are on a high following the return of Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Portugal international re-signed for the club from Juventus on transfer deadline day, 12 years after leaving Old Trafford behind. But one person who may not be so enthused to see him back in red is Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Manchester United confirmed Ronaldo’s return on deadline day.
The 36-year-old had appeared primed to play for Manchester City but, after the Red Devils made their interest known and Pep Guardiola’s side pulled out of a deal, the forward opted to return to Old Trafford instead.
Now, attentions are turning towards Saturday’s showdown with Newcastle.
Ronaldo could make his debut that day, although there have been claims he may have to settle for a place on the bench after barely training with his new team-mates.
And one person who may not be sucked into Ronaldo fever is Ibrahimovic.
The Sweden international has always had controversial opinions and has never been one to mince his words.
And, speaking in 2015, he downplayed Ronaldo’s achievements at Old Trafford by insisting he stole the plaudits from Wayne Rooney, the club’s real hero.
He told the BBC: “These great players, they have their moments over one to three years. But to continue over five years, for 10 years the way Wayne Rooney has done is not easy. It’s pressure every day playing for a big team.
“He runs a lot, he fights a lot, he sacrifices a lot.
“When he played with Cristiano Ronaldo all the work was done by Rooney, but he didn’t get the credit because Ronaldo was scoring all of the goals.
“I’d prefer to have him in my team than play against him.
“I’ve not been lucky enough to play with him but I enjoy seeing him on the pitch – if I cannot play with him, I will watch him.”
Ibrahimovic, as it turns out, did get the chance to play alongside Rooney.
The current AC Milan forward spent 12 months with the England international during Jose Mourinho’s time in charge at Old Trafford.
And they won two trophies together, in the form of the League Cup and Europa League.
Ibrahimovic also fired shots at Ronaldo in December 2019, too.
“I will find the real Ronaldo in Italy? None of it! There is only one Ronaldo, the Brazilian!” he said.
And Ibrahimovic also slammed the United icon in 2018, when he moved to Juventus, insisting he wasn’t taking on a challenge.
“Why did he not choose a club from a second division a few years ago?” he said.
“Try to become a champion with such a second-division [club] and lead them to the highest level.
“Moving to Juventus is not a challenge at all.”
Ronaldo, for his part, is delighted to be back at United.
“Well, as you know, I have a fantastic history with this amazing club,” he told club media.
“I was there at 18 years old and of course I’m so happy to be back home after 12 years.
“So I’m really glad and looking forward to start my first game.
“I think it’s the best decision that I have made it. It’s right on point in my opinion.
“I moved from Juve now to Manchester, it’s a new chapter, I’m so happy and glad, and I want to carry on again, to make history, to try to help Manchester achieve great results, to win trophies and number one of them, to win great things.”