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Ronaldo outlines ambition for 2021/22 season

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Cristiano Ronaldo says Manchester United have the potential to win the Premier League and Champions League, but must work on their mentality to achieve those aims.

The 36-year-old looked like he had never left Old Trafford on Saturday, putting in a stunning solo performance on his second debut to score two goals in a convincing 4-1 win over Newcastle.

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The leading goalscorer in the history of men’s international football – who netted 551 goals in the 12 years he was away from United – opened the scoring for United just before half-time, before firing home what turned out to be the winner after Javi Manquillo had silenced Old Trafford with a surprise equaliser.

Ronaldo received a rapturous ovation for his display, and stated after the game that he’s encouraged by what United could achieve.

“As I told you before, we have huge potential,” Ronaldo told Manchester United’s club channel. “We have fantastic players, a good coach, a good team. We need to build up the mentality to win the Premier League and even the Champions League.

“So I am here to help the team. I think we have the 11 that are playing and those on the bench that can help as well. We have a good team, as I told you, and the spirit is there.”

Ronaldo also took to his Instagram after the final whistle, posting an emotional message of thanks to the club’s supporters that also reinforced his belief in United’s current crop of players.

“My return to Old Trafford was just a brief reminder of why this stadium is known as the Theatre of Dreams,” he wrote. “For me, it has always been a magical place where you can achieve everything you set your mind into.

“Along with all my team-mates and with the amazing support that we always get from the stands, we face the road ahead with confidence and optimism that we’ll all be celebrating together in the end.

“Proud to be back at Man. United and playing in the Premier League once again, but above all, happy to help the team! Let’s go, Devils!”

Ronaldo’s next challenge is a Champions League away day at Young Boys on Tuesday, before a first Premier League away day at David Moyes’ West Ham.

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