Just last Saturday, the football world witnessed the return of one of the greatest players ever in the person of Cristiano Ronaldo, who made his eagerly-anticipated second debut for Manchester United at Old Trafford in their Matchday Four encounter against Newcastle United.
The 36 year-old Portuguese international who was returning to Manchester United after a 12-year hiatus, was in the starting lineup for the Red Devils and he showed his class and quality by finding the back of the net in their 4-1 victory over the Magpies.
Ronaldo’s superb performance brings to mind players in the past who came back to their former teams and scored on their second debuts. In this piece, we shall be taking a look at those players who found joy on their return to where it all began.
CRISTIANO RONALDO (MANCHESTER UNITED): New summer signing from Juventus Cristiano Ronaldo made his second debut for the Red Devils a memorable one, as he netted twice in United’s 4-1 win over Newcastle United last Saturday at Old Trafford.
The Portuguese star took a while to get used to his surroundings but it was only a matter of time before he showed his quality, as his brace helped United maintain their unbeaten start to the 2021/2022 campaign.
ROMELU LUKAKU (CHELSEA): The Belgian hitman who was signed for a club-record fee of £97.5 million pounds from Italian Serie A champions Inter Milan, made his second debut for Chelsea in the North West London Derby fixture against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
Lukaku, who was returning to the club after seven years, showed why he is one of the most feared strikers on the planet as he scored the first goal in the match as the Blues earned a 2-0 away victory at Arsenal.
THIERRY HENRY (ARSENAL): The Frenchman who is the record all-time goalscorer at the club also enjoyed a joyful return to the Emirates Stadium. Henry’s first stint at Arsenal was between 1999 and 2007, before leaving to join Barcelona but he returned to the club in January 2012 on a brief loan spell from Major League Soccer (MLS) outfit the New York Red Bulls.
Henry came on as a substitute replacing Marouane Chamakh on his second debut against Leeds United in a FA Cup third-round tie and scored the only goal of the match to propel his side to a 1-0 win and into the next round.
WAYNE ROONEY (EVERTON): Englishman Wayne Rooney began his senior career at Everton in 2002, before taking the league by storm as a teenager and at the UEFA Euro 2004 tournament in Portugal where he scored four goals. He later signed up for Old Trafford outfit Manchester United in the summer of 2004.
Rooney re-joined Everton after a gap of 13 years in 2017 from Manchester United where he had enjoyed a very successful spell. On his second debut for Everton in their season-opener against Stoke City, Rooney scored the only goal of the match as the Toffees picked a 1-0 victory.
DIEGO COSTA (ATLETICO MADRID): The Brazilian-born Spanish international had made a name for himself during his first spell at Atletico Madrid from 2010 to 2014 before leaving to join Premier League big boys Chelsea in the summer of 2014.
Costa left Chelsea and re-joined Atletico Madrid in January 2018, where he made his second debut against Getafe in a La Liga fixture. Costa netted the second goal for the Rojiblancos as Atletico earned a 2-0 victory.