The Portuguese superstar opened the scoring for Man United in his second debut for the club during Saturday’s encounter against Newcastle but he had already broken a league record
The Portuguese superstar led the line for the hosts at Old Trafford on his first appearance for the club since completing his transfer from Juventus at the end of August.
It was Ronaldo’s first appearance for the club in over 12 years, when he departed to Real Madrid after having helped United to three successive Premier League titles and two Champions League finals.
United’s struggles since have been highlighted by the fact that they have won just two Premier League titles in the subsequent 12 campaigns and none since 2013.
Ronaldo – now aged 36 – was playing his first Premier League game for the club since a scoreless draw against Arsenal in May 2009, which sealed that season’s league title.
That match was his final league outing in a United shirt – although he did subsequently feature in the Champions League final loss to Barcelona – as he sat out the final day 1-0 victory away to Hull City.
The time that had elapsed since Ronaldo’s final league appearance to Saturday’s ‘second debut’ against the Magpies was a total of 12 years and 118 days – setting a new Premier League record of time elapsed between playing in the division.
The previous record was held by Irish defender Damien Delaney, who went 11 years and 155 days between appearing in the division in a run which stretched between 2002 and 2013.
Delaney had begun his career with Leicester City, for whom he made eight Premier League appearances – before spending the next decade of his career in the lower divisions of English football.
The defender represented seven different clubs in the lower divisions including lengthy spells at Hull City and Ipswich Town, before joining Crystal Palace in 2012.
He was a mainstay in the Palace defence for the side that won promotion back to the top flight in his debut season and made 130 appearances in the division through to 2018.
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Delaney ended his career back in his native Republic of Ireland, with stints at Cork City and Waterford before hanging up his boots in 2019.
Ronaldo is no stranger to breaking records throughout his career – he became Real Madrid’s top goal scorer with 450 goals in 438 appearances, before becoming the highest international scorer of all-time earlier this month – netting 111 goals across his career for Portugal.
There are likely to be more records broken by Ronaldo across his second stint at Old Trafford, as he re-opened his goal scoring account to open the scoring against Newcastle in Saturday’s clash.
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