Patrice Evra joined Sir Alex Ferguson for a meal in Manchester after the pair helped to convince Cristiano Ronaldo to return to Old Trafford.
Ronaldo confirmed his ‘homecoming’ to United on the final day of the summer transfer window, moving from Juventus for £19.4million back to the club where he made his name.
And Evra posted a picture of him with legendary former Red Devils manager Sir Alex on social media, joking that he had met ‘the Pope’.
The picture shows Evra, along with his partner, Dutch model Margaux Alexandra, and four-month-old son Lilas flanking Ferguson in a restaurant, after Evra played in the Soccer Aid charity match at the Etihad Stadium.
All of them were smiling widely and the pair could have been toasting their role in bringing Ronaldo back to the red half of Manchester following his stellar first spell from 2003-2009, which saw him earn a then-record £80m move to Real Madrid.
United’s fierce rivals City were linked with a move for the 36-year-old, before former club United stepped in to hijack the move, in part thanks to Ferguson and Evra.
Ferguson is understood to have called him personally, urging him not to tarnish his reputation by moving to Pep Guardiola’s side, and Evra revealed a WhatsApp conversation where Ronaldo admitted he was rejoining the Red Devils.
And the Portugal captain himself paid tribute to Ferguson’s influence after he joined the club.
He said: ‘My first domestic League, my first Cup, my first call to the National team, my first Champions League, my first Golden Boot and my first Ballon d’Or, they were all born from this special connection between me and the Red Devils.
‘History has been written in the past and history will be written once again! You have my word! I’m right here! I’m back where I belong! Let’s make it happen once again! PS – Sir Alex, this one is for you…’
Tickets sales have reportedly hit the roof ahead of Ronaldo’s second return debut against Newcastle on September 11.