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Manchester United vs Real Madrid Preview

In tonight's game, Cristiano Ronaldo returns to the ground he called home for six years and attempt to knock his old team out the Champions League. Two of the world's biggest clubs, Manchester United and Real Madrid meet again- but this time it is at Old Trafford...

For many bar Lionel Messi, and for others bar none, Cristiano Ronaldo is the greatest player to ever kick a football. His current club Real Madrid has given CR7 the stage to display his skill for the past three years, but noone can deny it was at United that he was nutured into the world beater we see today.

When he came to Old Trafford in 2003, Ronaldo was a frail, skinny teenager with a lot of skill (and attitude) but little end product. Under Sir Alex Ferguson's guidance he became and left one of the finest athletes in the world and the most expensive footballer ever.

Tonight, Ferguson and the United faithful will witness the return of their prodigal son to Old Trafford. It is the second leg of Real and United's Champions League tie- the first, which was played at the Bernabeu, finished 1 -1.

The world will be watching. Watching to see how Ronaldo performs against his old teammates. Watching to see whether Robin van Persie can step up to the challenge of facing a United great. Along with this, they will be watching to see another 'Special One' return to an old foes domain.

Due to the excitement and hype that follows Ronaldo wherever he goes, many have paid little attention to the sub-plot to this terrific story. Two of the Premiership's most interesting personalities and well-respected managers will once again face off- as Ferguson takes on Mourinho.

Both men have spoken openly and at length at how they may set out their teams. Mourinho insists that his team are the far superior out of the two, whilst Ferguson claims that Manchester United fear no Madrid player (and that includes Ronaldo).

However, as both are masters in mind games, what they say needs to be taken with a pinch of salt.

It remains to be seen how Mourinho's Real Madrid or Ferguson's Manchester United will approach this game. But we predict a restrained first half-hour, followed by a fairly open game from then on, concluding in a heart-stopping finish (as ever). Penalties are a real possibility.

Many in the press and media have noted this is like an early final- and with all the attention it is getting, can you really argue with that. I, for the life of me, can not remember an early knock-out stage of any competition that has recieved so much interest, the world over.

The sides seemed extremely well matched in the first leg. Making it all that much more difficult to predict what will happen tonight.

One thing is for certain, however, at 7:45 tonight every football fan will be watching this match...

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