Ferdinand hoping Ronaldo is overwhelmed by Man Utd return

Rio Ferdinand is hoping that the prospect of playing for Real Madrid against Manchester United at Old Trafford will be too much for Cristiano Ronaldo to handle when the sides meet in the Champions League, the Daily Mirror has reported.

The first leg takes place on Wednesday at Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium, with the return match coming in early March. It will be the first time Ronaldo has played against his former team since leaving for La Liga in 2009, when Madrid bought the Portugal international in a world record transfer.

Ronaldo spent six years under Sir Alex Ferguson, winning the Premier League title three times, the League Cup twice, and the FA Cup, Champions League and Club World Cup once, scoring more than 100 goals and playing almost 300 times.

The 28-year-old has spoken of his admiration for Ferguson and his former club, and Ferdinand, a teammate of Ronaldo’s during his time at United, has said the emotion of the occasion could overwhelm the forward.

It’s obviously going to be an emotional night for Ronaldo and a great night for him too. But hopefully it gets too emotional for him,” Ferdinand said.

He added: “He has a great rapport with the fans and there is a mutual respect between them both, which is great. The fans appreciated him when he was here and since he’s been gone they sing his name. He came here a young boy and left a world-class player. He showed a lot of respect when he left and still does.

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