Ronaldo faces reunion with boyhood club
REAL Madrid talisman Cristiano Ronaldo is slated for an emotional meeting with boyhood club Sporting Lisbon when his side begin the defence of their Champions League crown tonight.
Ronaldo, who scored the decisive penalty in the shootout win over Atletico Madrid in last season's final, returned to club football following an injury lay-off when he scored in the 5-2 thrashing of Osasuna on Saturday.
The Portugal captain netted in a 1-0 win and a 2-1 triumph over Sporting while he was with Manchester United but has yet to face them in a Real shirt.
He moved from his family home in Madeira to Sporting's academy at age 12.
He spent one season in the first team, scoring five times in 30 appearances in all competitions before joining United in 2003.
"It's a special match, it's a special team," he told www.uefa.com.
"To play Sporting again is a privilege for me.
"I wanted to draw Sporting again because I think they have a good team, they have a good coach (Jorge Jesus) and it will be another special moment in my life."
Ronaldo played 65 minutes against Osasuna, his first appearance since injuring his knee in Portugal's Euro 2016 final win over France in July.
He is expected to start against Sporting.
Karim Benzema is likely to return to the starting line-up for the first time this campaign after struggling with a hip problem. But midfielder Isco, defender Fabio Coentrao and goalkeeper Keylor Navas are injured.
Sporting are top of the Primeira Liga after winning their fourth consecutive game of the season on Saturday, easing to a 3-0 victory over Moreirense.
Left-back Jefferson, nursing a hamstring problem, is their only injury concern.