Man City youngster tasked with stopping Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo breaking goals record – Manchester Evening News

Cristiano Ronaldo is set to make his first appearance since signing for Manchester United when he represents Portugal in a World Cup qualifier on Wednesday night.

The 36-year-old completed his move back to the Red Devils in Lisbon and put the final details on a two-year deal which sees him return to Old Trafford after leaving just over a decade ago.

In his first spell, Ronaldo hit 118 goals in 292 appearances and won eight major honours, including three Premier League titles and one Champions League.

After nine years in Madrid and a short stint at Juventus, the forward is back at United and reunites with Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer, for whom he played with at the club.

However, his focus now is inevitably with his national team as A Seleção face Republic of Ireland in their first game since the Euro 2020 last-16 defeat against Belgium.

Fernando Santos’ side currently have seven points from their opening three qualifiers having beaten Azerbaijan and Luxembourg, before drawing with Serbia.

It could be a special evening for Ronaldo, who has the chance to become the leading international scorer of all time.

He currently has 109 international goals, putting him level with Iran’s Ali Daei as the record holder for most career international strikes.

But a Manchester City youngster could potentially be in his way of breaking that record, as Gavin Bazunu is poised to make his fifth international cap for Ireland.

The goalkeeper is currently on loan at League One outfit Portsmouth and will look to make his second appearance in Portugal, with three of his four senior caps coming in friendlies against Qatar, Andorra and Hungary.

Having turned just 19 earlier this year, Bazunu has become Ireland’s first-choice stopper since making his debut in a 1-0 defeat to Luxembourg in March.

This is arguably poised to be his biggest test to date, as he may face up against some of the biggest names in Europe, including Bruno Fernandes, Diogo Jota and Ronaldo.

He could also play against his City teammates, Ruben Dias and Joao Cancelo, who could make their 33rd and 28th cap for their national team.

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All the focus will no doubt be on the new United striker, though, as he looks to keep up his remarkable return in 2021 for club and country.

Should Ronaldo score against Ireland, he will set a new world record and will be the sole leader in the international ranking, with Mokhtar Dakiri of Malaysia and Hungary’s Ferenc Puskas in third and fourth.

Red Devils fans, however, will hope Ronaldo doesn’t pick up any injuries before returning to Manchester for their game against Newcastle United on Saturday, September 11.

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