Cristiano Ronaldo will be in the starting lineup for Manchester United on Saturday against Newcastle United in his much-anticipated return for the Red Devils.
“Everybody’s excited about Cristiano’s homecoming,” manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said prior to the match. “He’s trained well. Everyone can see why he’s still going because he’s so meticulous and professional in everything he does. Hopefully when he steps onto the pitch we get another five to 10 percent extra.”
Ronaldo rejoined the club on a $28 million transfer from Juventus prior to the close of the summer transfer window. The event marks his grand return to the club where he became a global star from 2003-2009.
The match will be broadcast at 10 a.m. ET in two langauges in the United States on USA Network (English) and Universo (Spanish). Both NBCUniversal channels are streamed on fuboTV, which is available to new users on a free 7-day trial.
Ronaldo’s last match in a Manchester United shirt was the UEFA Champions League final in 2009 (2-0 loss against FC Barcelona), but his last match as a Man United player at Old Trafford was a celebratory one after the club clinched the 2008-2009 Premier League title at home against Arsenal in May 2009. Those matches preceded a transfer to Spanish giants Real Madrid and a move to Juventus years later.
Ronaldo left Old Trafford in 2009 as a swashbuckling winger, who could beat opposing players with ease. He returns as an expert goal-scoring center forward, who still reguarly produces 20-plus goals per season at age 36. He recently showed it by setting the international goal record for a male player with his two goals for Portugal to beat the Republic of Ireland in a World Cup qualifier.
How to watch Cristiano Ronaldo’s debut in the USA
- Date: Saturday, Sept. 11
- Time: 10 a.m. ET
- TV channel: USA Network
- Spanish-language TV: Universo
- Streaming: fuboTV
The English Premier League rights in the USA are held by NBCUniversal, which broadcasts matches in English and Spanish across its network of channels.
The 10 a.m. Saturday start time for Manchester United vs. Newcastle United will see it air on USA Network and Universo. Both channels are available on fuboTV, which offers a free seven-day trial to new users.
Manchester United vs. Newcastle: Starting lineups
Cristiano Ronaldo starts, but Edinson Cavani is not in the squad. Jadon Sancho was a doubt with a knock picked up while with England, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed he was good to go and he gets the start.
Scott McTominay and Alex Telles are not ready for selection just yet, and Marcus Rashford is still out due to shoulder surgery. Goalkeeper Dean Henderson is making his way back from the after-effects of COVID-19, but he got the start for the Under-23s along with Phil Jones.
Manchester United starting lineup (4-2-3-1, left to right): 1-David de Gea-GK — 23-Luke Shaw, 5-Harry Maguire, 19-Raphael Varane, 29-Aaron Wan-Bissaka — 31-Nemanja Matic, 6-Paul Pogba — 25-Jadon Sancho, 18-Bruno Fernandes, 11-Mason Greenwood — 7-Cristiano Ronaldo
Manchester United subs (9): 22-Tom Heaton-GK, 2-Victor Lindelof, 3-Eric Bailly, 20-Diogo Dalot, 17-Fred, 34-Donny Van de Beek, 14-Jesse Lingard, 8-Juan Mata, 9-Anthony Martial
What number will Ronaldo wear?
If you’re watching the game, you’ll see Ronaldo donning the same number he did when he last played with Manchester United: the No. 7.
Another player had the number when Ronaldo arrived, but he gave it up to the superstar: Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani wore the No. 7 jersey since joining Manchester United in 2020, but he left it to Ronaldo and took up the No. 21 shirt instead, which he also wears with Uruguay.
When Ronaldo departed Old Trafford he picked up the same number with Real Madrid and Juventus to keep up his ‘CR7’ brand.