Cristiano Ronaldo completed Man Utd transfer in my back garden – it was so surreal

GARY LINEKER has revealed he was part of one of football’s most surprising transfers.

That’s after Cristiano Ronaldo re-signed for Manchester United in his back garden.

Gary Lineker says Cristiano Ronaldo's Man Utd return was sealed in his back garden


Gary Lineker says Cristiano Ronaldo’s Man Utd return was sealed in his back gardenCredit: Getty
Ed Woodward was at Lineker's for lunch as he hijacked Man City's move


Ed Woodward was at Lineker’s for lunch as he hijacked Man City’s moveCredit: AFP

The Portugal icon first moved to England as a precocious teen in 2003 after impressing Sir Alex Ferguson in a pre-season friendly for Sporting Lisbon.

The rest is history, with Ronaldo winning three Premier Leagues, a Champions League and the Ballon d’Or at United before enjoying even more success at Real Madrid.

But he ended up back at Old Trafford in a shock deal in 2021, having looked set to sign for rivals Man City from Juventus.

And former England star Lineker claims he was present when Ed Woodward pulled the trigger on completing Ronaldo’s Old Trafford return.

Revealing his close friendship with the ex-United transfer guru, Lineker told The Rest is Football podcast that they were enjoying lunch in his garden when Woodward put the finishing touches on Ronnie’s deal.

Lineker said: “Ed is a very good friend, he’s a lovely guy, genuinely a lovely guy.

“Cristiano Ronaldo was signed when Ed Woodward was in my back garden. That was amazing.

“[Did I realise the significance of the deal?] Only when he arrived.


Ronaldo first joined United in 2003 before re-signing for them in 2021


Ronaldo first joined United in 2003 before re-signing for them in 2021Credit: Getty
Lineker has a picture of Woodward completing the move while enjoying his lunch


Lineker has a picture of Woodward completing the move while enjoying his lunch

“He came over and we had a lunch planned. I was cooking for a few people, Ed being one of them.

“He was on the phone when he arrived, and he was going ‘I’m trying to secure the Cristiano Ronaldo deal’.

“At that point it was looking like he was going to Manchester City. And then he [Ed] got the confirmation call.

“I’ve got a picture of him sat in a chair at the back of the garden, doing the deal.”

Ronaldo, 38, scored 118 goals in 292 games for United during his first six-season spell.

Afterwards, he netted 450 goals in 438 matches at Real Madrid following a then-record £80m move in 2009.

Ronnie lifted four Champions Leagues, two titles and four Ballon d’Ors during his time at the Bernabeu.

He then won two Serie A titles with Juventus before returning to United in 2021.

But Ronaldo’s time did not go to plan and he was axed by Erik ten Hag in 2022 ahead of the Qatar World Cup.

He has since been playing in Saudi Arabia with Al-Nassr, where he has 44 goals in 50 outings.

Ronaldo also remains a key man for Portugal and has a worldwide record of 128 goals from 205 caps.

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