As the entire world eyes tomorrow’s Champions League clash between Manchester United and Real Madrid, Red Devils defender Rio Ferdinand acknowledged that most eyes will be on former United great and Madrid talisman Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ferdinand, in a rich vein of form, is hoping that his former teammate falls victim to the high level of emotion that will surely be involved in the round of sixteen tie, and hopes that the Premier League leaders can get the better of Jose Mourinho’s struggling side.
“It’s obviously going to be an emotional night for Ronaldo and a great night for him too,” Ferdinand said ahead of tomorrow’s clash, according to Sky Sports. “But hopefully it gets too emotional for him.
“We’ve had a few texts, but when you get into a situation like this when you’re coming up against a friend, all the texts and the conversations go to one side and you don’t really speak until you actually get the game over and done with.
“He has a great rapport with the fans and there is a mutual respect between them both, which is great.”
Whatever happens tomorrow, one thing remains certain: the former prince of Manchester will return to Old Trafford for the first time since he left the club for the pivotal return leg. Manchester United fans have remained firm supporters of the former World Player of the Year, and have constantly sung his song since he left for Spain.
Ferdinand admits that the players have taken notice, and is certain of a warm reception when Ronaldo returns.
“The fans appreciated him when he was here and since he’s been gone they sing his name,” Ferdinand said. “He came here a young boy and left a world-class player. He showed a lot of respect when he left and still does.
“We’re going to have to use all of our experience, courage and ability to make sure that we stop not only Ronaldo, but the other players they have, because Real are a great team.”