London, Sept.17 : Manchester United coach Alex Ferguson has reportedly told fans of the football club that it is time to forgive Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo for his attempts to quit the club.
Ronaldo will make his first appearance before the Red Devils faithful since May's Champions League triumph as they begin the defence of that rown.
According to The Sun, the winger can expect a luke warm reception from an Old Trafford crowd still smarting after the Portuguese star's attempts to join Real Madrid this summer. But Fergie says Ronaldo deserves another chance as he has been a model professional since returning to United and battling back from his ankle injury.
Ferguson said: "I think the fans understand the situation - he was a young man tempted by the lure of money. Since we gave him our decision he has accepted it and his training has been fantastic. He's come back from his ankle operation ahead of schedule and been the perfect patient." Ferguson says Ronaldo's attitude off the training field has been spot on, too, despite being denied his apparent 'dream' move to the Bernabeu.
But Stuart Parish of the Manchester United Supporters Trust, believes Ronaldo will need to make a big effort to win back the fans - despite his 42 goals last season.
No Ronaldo songs have been sung this season as they often are in a player's absence.
The song 'Viva Ronaldo', sung throughout last season's triumphant Champions League campaign, has been changed to 'Viva John Terry' after the Chelsea captain's penalty miss in the thrilling Moscow final.
Story first published: Wednesday, September 17, 2008, 13:14 [IST]