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July 29, 2021

Champions League: Real – United, “the match the world is waiting for”

Manchester United head to the Bernabeu for the first leg of the CL last 16, on Wednesday, before the tie is decided at Old Trafford three weeks later. The only certainty will be one of the heavyweights getting knocked out at the end, with Cristiano Ronaldo pitted against his old club in a mouthwatering duel.
“It is the match the world is waiting for,” Mourinho told MUTV. “People think we are under pressure because a big team will be out. But it is the kind of match we want and the people are not waiting for any other game. I hope we give them what they want.”
After Ronaldo bagged yet another hat-trick in Real’s win over Sevilla on Saturday night, Mourinho flew into Manchester to watch United overcome Everton at Old Trafford.
In his turn, Jonny Evans claims that Manchester United’s game against Real Madrid is not all about Cristiano Ronaldo facing his former club. The Northern Ireland international believes that the clash is the highlight of the round due to the history between the two clubs and not just the Portuguese star.
“I am sure one or two of the lads have kept in contact and Nani was on international duty with him,” Evans told the club’s official website. “I don’t know if he has spoken to anyone, but I am sure he is looking forward to the game as much as we are. But I don’t think it is just about Cristiano Ronaldo. It goes back further. There is the history of the two clubs. It is the glamor tie of the round. Everyone is looking forward to it.”
The sight of Ronaldo facing United for the first time since his departure adds another layer of intrigue to a contest pairing clubs who have met in four previous European Cup ties – with the winners going on to lift the trophy on three occasions, uefa.com reports.
It is also an opportunity for José Mourinho to renew his rivalry with Sir Alex Ferguson. Although United reached the round of 16 as Group H winners, Group D runners-up Madrid have won eight of their last nine UEFA Champions League home fixtures and can draw further encouragement from the fact United have conceded first in their last five European outings and have won only twice in 20 visits to Spain.

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