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Cristiano Ronaldo returns on to Old Traford
All eyes will always be on Cristiano Ronaldo as he returns to Old Trafford with Real Madrid CF for the conclusion of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie with Man Utd FC.
• Ronaldo passed six years at United and was on focus against his previous club in the first leg on 13 February, cancelling out Danny Welbeck’s 20th-minute opener to earn Madrid a 1-1 draw.
• These teams have met in four previous European Cup ties with the winners going on to lift the trophy on three occasions. Madrid arrived at the top in the semi-finals in 1956/57 and quarter-finals in 1999/2000 and 2002/03, while United was successful in the 1967/68 semi-finals.
• Madrid overrode United 6-5 on aggregate in a very memorable encounter ten seasons ago. Vicente del Bosque’s side emerged 3-1 winners from the first leg at the Bernabéu, Luís Figo and Raúl González (2) scoring before Ruud van Nistelrooy drawn a goal back.
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• The Brazilian Ronaldo struck a hat-trick in the Old Trafford return, leaving the pitch to applause from the home supporters who then saw United hold back to win 4-3 through two goals from substitute David Beckham. Van Nistelrooy and Iván Helguera (own goal) also found the net.
• The lineups from that Old Trafford meeting on 23 April 2003 were:
Man Utd: Barthez, O’Shea, Ferdinand, Brown, Silvestre (P Neville 79), Verón (Beckham 63), Butt, Keane (Fortune 82), Giggs, Van Nistelrooy, Solskjær.
Madrid: Casillas, Salgado, Hierro, Helguera, Roberto Carlos, Zidane, McManaman (Portillo 69), Figo (Pavón 88), Makelele, Ronaldo (Solari 67), Guti.
• Within the 1999/2000 quarter-finals, eventual champions Madrid advanced 3-2 on aggregate when they accompanied a goalless home draw by taking a 3-0 lead in Manchester through Roy Keane’s own goal and a Raúl double, before Beckham and Paul Scholes replied for the then holders. Ryan Giggs and Iker Casillas also featured.
• George Best got the only goal of the teams’ 1967/68 semi-final first leg at Old Trafford. United then battled back from 3-1 behind to draw 3-3 in Madrid and went on to lift the trophy for the first time.
• Madrid won the first-ever meeting 5-3 on aggregate to reach the 1956/57 final. The Merengues overcame Matt Busby’s men 3-1 at home and then led 2-0 at half-time in Manchester through goals from Raymond Kopa and Héctor Rial. However, Tommy Taylor and Bobby Charlton then set the tone for a series of United fightbacks in this fixture by making it 2-2.
Barcelona draw Milan, Ronaldo to face United
Cristiano Ronaldo will return to Old Trafford for the first time since leaving Manchester United FC for Real Madrid CF while FC Barcelona were paired with AC Milan in the round of 16 draw.