Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo was seen hugging a young fan while in Moldova for the club’s Europa League clash against Sheriff Tiraspol.
Ronaldo started the match for Erik ten Hag’s side on September 15 and scored his first goal of the season, converting from the spot after Diogo Dalot earned a penalty. Jadon Sancho’s strike prior to the Portuguese’s helped the Red Devils to a 2-0 win.
The incident with the young fan took place ahead of the encounter at the Zimbru Stadium in Chisinau. In a video shared on social media, Ronaldo could be seen hugging the boy before escorting him onto the team bus, most likely to meet other Manchester United players.
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“He needed that goal” – Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag on Cristiano Ronaldo’s first goal of the season
Cristiano Ronaldo wasn’t part of the Manchester United squad that traveled to Thailand and Australia for the pre-season. He joined the side when they came back to Manchester, which delayed his return to match fitness.
Moreover, Marcus Rashford’s return to form and Anthony Martial’s pre-season exploits sent Ronaldo down the pecking order, limiting him to just two starts ahead of the Sheriff encounter.
The lack of game time also held him back from opening his tally. But in his third start of the season, the Portuguese talisman finally got on the scoresheet.
The Manchester United manager believes Ronaldo ‘will score more goals’ once he gets back to full fitness.
“We could expect this when you miss pre-season so he has to work really hard and invest to get the right fitness then he will score more goals,” United boss Erik ten Hag said after the Europa League encounter.
“You can see he is really close and when he gets fitter he will finish them. I think he is totally committed to this project and to this team.
“He needed that goal. He was close many times. You see connections coming around him. We’re happy for him and the team wanted him to bring the goal, so that’s good.”
The Red Devils next face Manchester City at the Etihad in a Premier League encounter on Sunday, October 2.