Jesse Lingard decided to welcome Cristiano Ronaldo back to Manchester United in a unique way by posting throwback pictures of when the Portuguese football icon met him and some other United’s academy players.
In the pictures, Jesse Lingard looked like an academy player in his early 10s while Ronaldo looked like a United’s football star in his early 20s.
It looked like the academy players who were selected to meet the Portuguese football icon then were the brightest in the academy. In one of the pictures, Ronaldo could be seen putting his two hands on Jesse Lingard like he was anointing him to be the next big thing at the club.
In the caption, Lingard who has been struggling to establish himself at Old Trafford simply wrote: “Welcome home” to Ronaldo.
The Portuguese football Icon grew to become one of the most important players at the club and had a big influence on younger players at the club.
When he arrived at Manchester United then, he was a teenager who needed a lot of refining which he got from Alex Ferguson. The coach groomed him so much that he won his first Ballon d’Or at the club.
Ronaldo helped the club to win a Champions League title and three Premier League titles before he joined Real Madrid for a then World transfer record.
After 9 years at Real Madrid where he won four additional Ballon d’Or, Ronaldo went to Juventus and dominated the Italian Serie A for three seasons before he decided to leave with a season left on his contract with the club.
He is expected to spend the next two seasons at Manchester United where he could play alongside Jesse Lingard for the first time in Lingard’s career.
Recall that Jesse Lingard gained promotion to Manchester United senior team on July 1, 2014, five years after Ronaldo had left the club for Real Madrid.
Unfortunately for the out-of-favor England international who has been in the youth system of Manchester United since he was 7-year-old, he could no live up to expectations at Old Trafford.
Hence, the 28-year-old English attacking midfielder spent a couple of times out of the club on loan. Recall that Lingard returned from West Ham United this summer where he spent the last part of the 2020-2021 season.
Lingard made a tremendous impact at the club and helped West Ham to qualify for this season’s Europa League by scoring 9 goals in 16 games. His contribution has encouraged the club to continue to push for his return which might happen this summer if he can’t guarantee a regular playing time at Old Trafford.
Lingard’s contract with Manchester United is expected to expire on June 30, 2022, which means he has only a season to prove that he is worthy to be a part of the Red Devils.