Manchester United lost two consecutive Premier League matches, but this week they found out the names of their Champions League rivals. The matches against Juventus, Valencia and Young Boys are not going to happen just yet, but it is a good distraction from United’s poor start to the season.
However, the thing that will mark these group stages of Europe’s elite competition are players returning to their former clubs. Edinson Cavani will be heading back to Naples, when PSG visit Napoli, while Coutinho will be playing against Inter, now as Barcelona star. And yet, Group H will be all about that, as Manchester United and Juventus meet again.
Their iconic matches in 1990s will never be forgotten, but now is the time to write new piece of history. Two players have already played for both clubs. And they will now do it again, in a direct matchup.
Cristiano Ronaldo Returns To Manchester
Cristiano Ronaldo left Manchester United nine years ago. It was an amazing journey for him at Manchester, but it has been even crazier after he joined Real Madrid. Now, at 33, the Portuguese will arrive in his former home as officially the best player in the world, five-time Champions League winner and still going strong into new challenges.
He joined Juventus this summer in a deal worth 100 million euros, an incredible sum nonetheless, especially for a player of his age. Ronaldo became the world footballing star 10 years ago, when he won the Champions League alongside Sir Alex Ferguson. Now, he will come back once more, after playing against United with Real Madrid. That was all the way back in spring of 2013. Since then, Ronaldo won a staggering four Champions League trophies and will be looking to add another one, with his third different club.
The match at Old Trafford will be played on 23 October, 20.00 BST.
Paul Pogba Back At Juventus Arena
Paul Pogba had only three Premier League appearances for Manchester United when he left the club in 2012. He joined Juventus and soon enough he became a very important part of their growing side. By the summer of 2013, Pogba was already a World Cup winner, although at the U-20 tournament in Turkey.
He played 178 times for the Old Lady in all competitions during four years he spent at the club. With them, he played in 2015 UEFA Champions League final, but lost 3-1. However, in 2018, he won the World Cup in Russia with his France, playing a very important role for them.
Since joining Manchester United in summer of 2016, there has been a lot of talk of his development into a world-class player and whether he can become one of world’s very best, in the top 1 percent of footballers. He won Europa League with the Red Devils, but his performances in the past year or so have not been often of the very best level. There were several rumours of Pogba and Jose Mourinho not getting on well, but all of that is just rumours.
Now, against his former club, Pogba will have the chance to prove himself against one of the best European sides of this decade.
The match at Juventus Arena will be played on 7 November, 20.00 BST.