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Cristiano Ronaldo once ignored referee Mark Halsey's pleas during a highly tense clash against Liverpool during his first spell at Manchester United.
The revelation comes hours before his suspected second debut for the Red Devils as they prepare to face Newcastle this afternoon at Old Trafford.
The Theatre of Dreams will be a raucous cauldron of noise after an exciting couple of weeks at the club with fans chanting Ronaldo's name throughout the ground and streets of Manchester.
And it all came about after a whirlwind 48 hour period in the transfer window after Ronaldo told Juventus he wanted to leave.
Manchester City appeared to be the favorites to snap up the 36-year-old, horrifying United fans.
But a late change in his decision saw the Red Devils emerge as his next destination after a £20m fee was agreed with the Italian giants.
It has evoked a huge sense of nostalgia among United fans, back to better times when winning the Premier League was more of a procession under Sir Alex Ferguson and they will be hoping Ronaldo can bring that feeling back.
However, one facet of the Portuguese icon’s game that Halsey hopes does not come back is his play-acting – though it was clear that the winger was a target for defenders back then.
In fact, the former Premier League referee warned Ronaldo about his antics in night in 2007 but completely ignored his advice when he hit the deck just minutes later.
Halsey told The Sun: “I was in charge of Liverpool against Man Utd at Anfield in December 2007.
“After I did the toss for kick-off, I handed my coin to the fourth official on the touchline.
“Ronaldo was standing in front of me on the halfway line and I said to him: ‘Don't be going down too easily today because you won't get anything out of me.’
“I felt I needed to manage him to avoid any trouble in the game.
Will Ronaldo be a success at United this time round? Comment below
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“He looked at me and smiled. Then in the first few minutes Ronaldo completely ignored what I’d just told him and he went to ground too easily.
“He looked up at me asking for a free-kick and I put my arms out and shouted at him, ‘What did I just say to you?’”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer might be reluctant to start Ronaldo against Newcastle after a slight injury issue with Portugal but the temptation might be too much ahead of a packed-out Old Trafford.
With Edinson Cavani missing, the Norweigan might have no choice while Steve Bruce desperately conjures up ways to stop the five-time Ballon d'Or winner.
Confirmed United squad vs Newcastle:David de Gea, Tom Heaton, Lee Grant, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Diogo Dalot, Raphael Varane, Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Luke Shaw, Nemanja Matic, Donny van de Beek, Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Bruno Fernandes, Anthony Martial, Jadon Sancho, Mason Greenwood, Anthony Elanga, Cristiano Ronaldo
- Cristiano Ronaldo
- Manchester United FC
- Liverpool FC
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