Dimitar Berbatov has admitted that he expected Cristiano Ronaldo to try out a new league instead of returning to Manchester United.
The time is nearing for the 36-year-old to make his second debut for the Red Devils. He has returned to Manchester and trained with his new team-mates, 12 years after leaving. As such, he could rubberstamp his return by featuring in Saturday’s Premier League clash with Newcastle at Old Trafford.
His move back to United comes following a stellar career at United, Real Madrid and Juventus.
After netting 118 goals in 292 games for the Red Devils, he became Madrid’s all-time leading scorer. Then, he stamped his mark on Serie A with three seasons at Juventus.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Berbatov insisted that he felt excited to see how Ronaldo performed back in Manchester.
However, he admitted concern that his second spell there may not be as successful as the first.
“I was surprised, I didn’t expect it,” the former United star said.
“I thought he was going to go and look for another challenge like he did his whole career and to try and prove – not that he has anything to prove – but maybe to himself to go to a different championship and do it again like with Spain and then Italy.
“I was surprised he returned to England, but I was happy. He is going to United and if you look at it like this it is also a new challenge because when you look at football, in history, when you go back to the same place for a second time it’s not always as successful as the first one.”
At 36, Ronaldo has limited time left in his career. However, he has proved lately he still has a lot to offer.
Indeed, his brace for Portugal against Ireland last week saw him become the world’s top international goalscorer.
Bale excited for Ronaldo return
One eager watcher of the forward’s potential debut on Saturday will be Gareth Bale.
The Wales international spent much of his career with Ronaldo at Madrid, the duo forming part of a fearsome attack.
Bale’s return to the Premier League with Tottenham last season did not go as well as he had planned.
However, he feels excited to see how his former team-mate gets on.