Ronaldo can destroy Man Utd, and rewrite Mourinho's legacy
Commentators lick their lips in anticipation of the Champions League clash at Old Trafford
ALL EYES will be on Old Trafford tonight for the second leg of the Champions League clash between Manchester United and Real Madrid. The tie is delicately poised at 1-1 and with so many storylines to unfold it is hard to know where to start. Cristiano Ronaldo will be playing at his old stamping ground for the first time since leaving United for Madrid in 2009, Jose Mourinho - tipped to replace Alex Ferguson as United manager one day - will be trying to get one over on his old rival and Ryan Giggs will make his 1,000th senior appearance at some stage during the evening.
With so much to look forward to it's little surprise the commentators have been salivating.
Phil McNulty, BBC: "The world may not stop but there can be no doubting that this is a meeting where expectations match those of a Champions League final itself, where the winners will feel a door has opened for them - especially if AC Milan can eliminate favourites Barcelona."
Oliver Kay, The Times: "By 9.40pm - or later if extra time or indeed a penalty shoot-out is required — one of these great clubs will be reflecting, bitterly, on another lost opportunity to win the trophy that they covet more than any other. For the victors, it will be tempting to look at the rest of the field, with Barcelona’s hopes hanging by a thread, and to feel that destiny is driving them towards their goal and that this could, after all, be the year that they recapture the European Cup."
Paul Hayward, the Daily Telegraph: "If Ronaldo's band advance past Manchester United tonight then Mourinho will appear in a bright new light. Real's coveted 10th European Cup will seem a realistic proposition again and a reign that promised so much will stop swinging in the wind."
Former United player Gordon McQueen on Ferguson v Mourinho, Goal.com: "There is not just a friendship between the two of them, there is a sort of master and pupil relationship. Mourinho is more gracious towards him than any other manager he's come up against - even Pep Guardiola at Barcelona."
Eurosport's Early Doors blog on Cristiano Ronaldo: "The Ronaldo that returns to Manchester for the first time since 2009 is a vast upgrade on the one who left. He may have become a man under Sir Alex Ferguson after joining the club as an 18-year-old from Sporting, but he has become a mutant at Madrid... After helping his team to two victories over Barcelona in the space of a week, the simple question is: can United stop him? The immutable Law of the Ex in football suggests not."
Henry Winter on Ryan Giggs, who will play his 1,000th game tonight, the Daily Telegraph: "Wherever he has played, Giggs has stepped onto the field with the mission of taking on opponents, creating, entertaining, winning. His name is a byword for adventure. Indiscretions in his private life that fascinate newspapers here are largely ignored by overseas observers. They just hail a footballing role model. They relish that Giggs plays the game as it should be played: with intelligence and flair." ·