Cristiano Ronaldo ‘happy to be back’ after 45-minute Man Utd return

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Cristiano Ronaldo played 45 minutes for Manchester United in their pre-season friendly with Rayo Vallecano (Dave Thompson/PA) (PA Wire)
Cristiano Ronaldo played 45 minutes for Manchester United in their pre-season friendly with Rayo Vallecano (Dave Thompson/PA) (PA Wire)

Cristiano Ronaldo insisted he was “happy to be back” playing for Manchester United after he appeared for 45 minutes in the 1-1 friendly draw against Rayo Vallecano.

Ronaldo missed United’s pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia due to family reasons amid reports he wants to quit the club, but he reported to the training ground earlier this week to discuss his future with new boss Erik ten Hag.

The 37-year-old played 45 minutes against the La Liga side – his first United appearance since their 4-0 horror defeat at Brighton last season – before being withdrawn at half-time in a pre-planned move.

He later posted on social media a picture of him playing in the game with the caption: “Happy to be back!”

United completed their pre-season preparations with a draw as Ronaldo’s replacement Amad Diallo’s 48th-minute strike was cancelled out by Alvaro Garcia Rivera.

It remains to be seen whether the Portugal international will be involved in United’s Premier League curtain-raiser with Brighton next Sunday.