Football star Cristiano Ronaldo today dedicated his 100th Premier League goal to his newborn son who tragically died, raising his left arm and pointed to the sky in a subdued and heartbreaking celebration on his return to the Manchester United team.
The devastated Portugal footballer scored in the first half at Arsenal after the home fans had risen to applaud United’s No 7 when the clock hit the seventh minute in a show of solidarity.
Ronaldo and his partner Georgina Rodriguez announced five days ago that one of their newborn twins had tragically passed away. The 37-year-old forward was then given compassionate leave by the club to be with his family and grieve after their loss.
He was left out of the squad that lost 4-0 at Liverpool on Tuesday, but participated in a full training session at Carrington with team-mates and has continued to train this week.
Ronaldo’s goal at the Emirates Stadium came in the 34th minute to trim Arsenal’s lead to 2-1. It was his 16th in the Premier League this season since rejoining from Real Madrid, on top of the 84 goals in his first spell at United from 2003 to 2009.
And just days on after revealing that heartbreaking news, Ronaldo will now feature for the Red Devils from the start at the Emirates on Saturday.
With Edinson Cavani injured and forwards Marcus Rashford and Anthony Elanga out of form, Ronaldo – who scored a brilliant hat-trick in his last game, a 3-2 win against Norwich – will be looking to help turn United’s form around against old rivals Arsenal.
Ronald and Georgina received an outpouring of love after returning home with their newborn daughter on Thursday, days after confirming the child’s twin brother had died during birth.
Football star Cristiano Ronaldo today dedicated his 100th Premier League goal to his newborn son who tragically died, raising his left arm and pointed to the sky in a subdued and heartbreaking celebration on his return to the Manchester United team
Arsenal fans applaud on the seventh minute in support of Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo following the death of his newborn baby during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London, Saturday April 23, 2022
The Portuguese star had announced the tragic death of his newborn son earlier this week
Ronaldo and Georgina Rodriguez returned home with their newborn daughter on Thursday, days after the footballer confirmed his partner lost the child’s twin brother during birth
A statement from the couple confirmed the death of their baby boy as ‘the greatest pain’
He shared a social media update shortly after their baby girl made the journey back from hospital following her birth on Monday.
Posting a photo for his 430million followers, Ronaldo, 37, cradled his daughter while accompanied by Spanish partner Georgina and their four children – three of which the footballer fathered through surrogates.
Captioning the post, he wrote: ‘Home sweet home. Gio and our baby girl are finally together with us. We want to thank everyone for all the kind words and gestures.
‘Your support is very important and we all felt the love and respect that you have for our family. Now it’s time to be grateful for the life that we’ve just welcomed into this world.’
Relatives and footballers showed immense support for the couple, with Ronaldo’s sister, Katia Aveiro, writing in Portuguese: ‘Amo demais’ – translating to ‘love so much’ and Georgina’s sister, Ivana Rodriguez, commented: ‘God bless you’.
Liverpool and Man United fans joined to applaud in the seventh minute at Anfield on Tuesday
Georgina shares daughter Alana, three, with Cristiano, and the Manchester United star also has son Cristiano Jr., 11, and twins Eva and Mateo, four
Team-mate Rashford, ex-Real Madrid star Jesé Rodriguez, former Chelsea captain John Terry and Dutch footballer Leandro Fernandes also shared heart and prayer emojis in response to the post.
Ronaldo’s post was made shortly after he returned to full training with Manchester United.
Rangnick had earlier said: ‘Yes, of course, this is the worst that can happen. I am a father of two sons myself so I am fully aware of what that means. We are all behind him, we are all with him, and wish that he and his family are strong together.’
Earlier, a statement from the club read: ‘Everybody at Manchester United and indeed the football world is sending love to Cristiano Ronaldo and his family, after the club legend made a heart-breaking announcement on Monday evening.
‘Family is more important than everything and Ronaldo is supporting his loved ones at this immensely difficult time. As such, we can confirm that he will not feature in the match against Liverpool at Anfield and we underline the family’s request for privacy. Cristiano, we are all thinking of you and sending strength to the family.’