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Manchester United will downplay Wayne Rooney's return after heroic reception for Cristiano Ronaldo backfired on them

September 17, 2017 12:24 AM
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Manchester United won't be fussing over Wayne Rooney on his Old Trafford return with Romelu Lukaku on the cover of Sunday's programme against Everton and no repeat of the special welcome given to Cristiano Ronaldo when he revisited with Real Madrid in 2013.

United have decided against a guard of honour or club presentation for United's record goalscorer out of respect to Everton and there is no particular tribute to Rooney in the matchday magazine though he is mentioned.

In addition, there will be no repeat of Ronaldo's return when manager Sir Alex Ferguson asked stadium broadcaster Alan Keegan to announce the visiting team's line-up second so it ended with Ronaldo's name top of the bill accompanied by a giant roar throughout the stadium.

Ferguson had hoped the emotion of the occasion would distract Ronaldo from performing at his best but though the Portuguese star had a quiet first half, he ended up scoring the winning goal as United were knocked out of the Champions League.

Everton manager Ronald Koeman paid his own tribute to Rooney ahead of his return.

'He made a big contribution for Man United. At that time they had a lot of good players like Giggs. The quality in that team was incredible and he was part of that,' said Koeman.

'He was English, he was young, he was scoring goals, he was a creative player and with more experience he was also important for the team and for the dressing room.

Lukaku moved from Everton to United in a £75million move last summer and his appearance on the programme cover is a reflection of his bright start at Old Trafford with six goals in six games.

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