Manchester United supporters welcomed Cristiano Ronaldo back ‘home’ with a raucous and rousing reception during his side’s 4-1 win over Newcastle at the weekend.
From the pre-match build up to an extended post-match serenade, the 36-year-old was central to an Old Trafford atmosphere that is sure to live long in the collective memory.
The atmosphere was already electric before the Portuguese superstar sparked memorable scenes of euphoria by notching the brace that laid the foundations for victory.
“I walked out into Manchester’s city centre on Saturday morning and I’ve not seen it as alive for five or 10 years.” Neville said.
“What he’s done to the Premier League for interest is exciting but for the city, he’s absolutely got it buzzing with excitement – and this was even before he scored the two goals.
“I was at Salford and saw the news that he scored. I could only imagine what the atmosphere was like and I spoke to a couple of people who were there, and they said it was out of this world, bouncing like they’ve never seen it before. And Salford scored in the last minute which meant it was the perfect football day.”
Neville thinks that we’re currently on the cusp of a new Premier League golden age, with United’s returning messiah, “…the cherry on top of a very good cake.”
However, the Ronaldo coup seems to have cranked up the excitement levels to near fever-pitch.
All eyes will be on the attacker again tomorrow night, as he leads his rejuvenated team into battle against Young Boys in the Champions League Group F opener.
If it wasn’t already, it seems sure to be the hottest ticket in town.