Ronaldo’s future was the subject of intense speculation throughout the summer transfer window after the 37-year-old handed in a transfer request at Old Trafford.
A move failed to materialise for Ronaldo and the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has had to make do with a bit-part role so far this season under new manager Erik ten Hag.
He was handed a chance to impress on Thursday after being named as part of United’s starting line-up against Sheriff Tiraspol in the Europa League.
Despite struggling during the match, Ronaldo still managed to get his name on the scoresheet – tucking home a penalty to help seal a 2-0 win for the Premier League side in Moldova.
In the process, Ronaldo ended his longest run of games without scoring since 2003.
Ronaldo scored his first goal of the season against Sheriff on Thursday (Image: Alamy)It was a much-needed boost for the Portuguese star, who appears to have struck up a strong bond with new teammate Martinez.
After Ronaldo posted a picture of himself to his Instagram page last month, Martinez commented: ‘El Bicho’, which translates as ‘The Bug’ in English.
Ronaldo was first given the nickname during his time in Spanish football with Real Madrid.
Spanish sports broadcaster Manolo Lama was the person who initially referred to Ronaldo as ‘El Bicho’, not as a negative, but as a way of praising the forward for his ability to frighten the opposition.
Martinez commented ‘El Bicho’ on one of Ronaldo’s recent Instagram posts (Image: Alamy)The name stuck, with fans of the Spanish giants chanting it during matches.
Martinez was quick to praise Ronaldo after the win over Sheriff and insists the veteran forward remains a hugely important player for the Red Devils.
“We know how big Cristiano Ronaldo’s goals are,” said Martinez.
“It’s very important that he scored for his confidence and for the team.”
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