Ronaldo returns in Man Utd friendly draw with Rayo Vallecano

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo played for 45 minutes as he made his first Manchester United appearance in 12 weeks in a 1-1 pre-season draw with Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford on Sunday.

The 37-year-old Portuguese striker, who missed the club’s pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia for personal reasons, reportedly wanted to leave the club he joined last year.

Former Real Madrid and Juventus star Ronaldo was United’s top scorer last season with 24 goals.

But the campaign as a whole was a huge disappointment for the club, with sixth place in the Premier League meaning they missed out on Champions League qualification.

Ronaldo has been left out of United’s squad for Saturday’s friendly with Atletico Madrid in Oslo.

But, commenting on a post on a fan page about him missing the match in Norway, Ronaldo wrote on Friday: ‘Domingo o rei joga’ which translates to ‘Sunday the king plays’.

Ronaldo cheered on fans on both sides of the pitch as he led the team through their pre-match warm-up on Sunday.

The veteran striker had a clear chance in his 45-minute appearance against United’s Spanish opponents but went over the bar after running into Donny van de Beek’s layoff.

New signings Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez both played for an hour in a game set up by new United manager Erik ten Hag for players who didn’t play a major role in Saturday’s 1-0 loss against Atlético.

Amad Diallo, who was on loan at Scottish giants Rangers last season, gave United the lead early in the second half when the 20-year-old Ivory Coast winger fired in the rebound after a shot from Alex Telles has been arrested.

United’s lead, however, only lasted nine minutes before Alvaro Garcia similarly equalized after Tom Heaton saved Isaac Palazon Camacho’s initial effort.

United begin their Premier League campaign at home to Brighton on August 7.