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Alejandro Garnacho came back on the pitch just to walk off it with Cristiano Ronaldo

Alejandro Garnacho came back on the pitch just to walk off it with Cristiano Ronaldo

Garnacho was replaced by Donny van de Beek with 10 minutes to go.

Manchester United youngster Alejandro Garnacho came back onto the Old Trafford pitch against Sheriff Tiraspol for one reason - to walk off it with his idol Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 18-year-old made his first professional start for the club in Thursday evening's 3-0 victory after impressing manager Erik ten Hag in training.

Garnacho lasted 80 minutes before being replaced by Donny van de Beek in the closing stages, but there was one more order of business to carry out.

He made his way back on at the full-time whistle to share a special moment with Ronaldo.

The Argentina youth international is a self-proclaimed Ronaldo fanboy. He's regularly called the five-time Ballon d'Or the best player of all time on social media, while Ronaldo gave him his match ball after scoring a hat-trick against Norwich City last season.

Garnacho made a beeline for Ronaldo, who gave the teenager a hug and a few words of encouragement before ruffling his hair.

The duo were locked in conversation as they made their way off the pitch and down the tunnel.

Garnacho shared a picture on social media after full-time of him stood with Ronaldo captioned: "I don't know if it's real or if I'm dreaming."

The winger was used by ten Hag in pre-season, with many thinking he'd be playing a significant role this term.

He's found first-team minutes hard to come by, given the form of Marcus Rashford and summer arrival Antony.

Ten Hag was asked about Garnacho's development in his post-match interview, with the 52-year-old paying tribute to the player's development not just physically but mentally.

Garnacho battles with Renato Guedes for the ball. (Image

He said: "To deal with the ball in tight areas, to run behind, and especially also his tempo dribbles, he can take players on and that’s a good capability in football nowadays, especially against opponents who are defending that compact like this opponent.

"That is what we have to teach – and not only to him [Garnacho] but all the players, especially the young players."

United are progressing in contract talks with Garnacho, with sources claiming the Red Devils are in a comfortable position regarding a renewal.

Featured Image Credit: Garnacho7/TikTok

Topics: Manchester United, Alejandro Garnacho, Cristiano Ronaldo, Europa League