Alejandro Garnacho could be seen paying tribute to Cristiano Ronaldo after scoring his first goal for Manchester United on Thursday night.
The 18-year-old has gradually been making more and more first-team appearances under the watchful eye of Erik ten Hag and was even selected from the start for the Europa League trip to Real Sociedad.
And it panned out as a dream occasion for Garnacho, who proved to be the match-winner on the night, finding the back of the net with a ruthless finish to secure a 1-0 win for the Premier League side.
Garnacho channels Ronaldo after scoring
However, even more perfect than the finish was the fact that none other than Ronaldo himself, Garnacho’s hero, was the player who provided the assist.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner spotted the run of Garnarcho down the left flank, played an insightful ball into his path and watched on like a proud father as the United starlet lashed home past Álex Remiro.
Read more: Alejandro Garnacho pays tribute to Ronaldo as he scores first ever Man Utd goal
And just in case Ronaldo hadn’t been involved enough in the goal already, Garnacho then decided to channel his United teammate by producing what is fast becoming his latest trademark.
That’s because Garnacho replicated the celebration that Ronaldo unveiled to the world upon scoring his 700th goal in club football against Everton back in October, interlocking his fingers in front of his chest and closing his eyes.
Soccer Football – Europa League – Group E – Real Sociedad v Manchester United – Reale Arena, San Sebastian, Spain – November 3, 2022 Manchester United’s Alejandro Garnacho celebrates scoring their first goal with Cristiano Ronaldo and Luke Shaw REUTERS/Vincent West
You know you’re inspired by a player when you choose to mimic them when you score your first ever goal in club football: a major landmark in any young professional’s career.
Fans think Garnacho asked Ronaldo for permission
Plus, the gesture was seemingly made all the more touching for the fact Garnacho appeared to talk to Ronaldo about producing the celebration before he actually went ahead with the pose.
In fact, many a football fan has concluded that the young Argentine was asking Ronaldo for permission to copy the gesture having seen broadcast footage of the pair interacting in the immediate aftermath of the goal.
It is, of course, impossible to confirm whether or not that was actually the case at this stage, but you can certainly see why supporters might draw that conclusion when you take a look at the evidence:
Video: Did Garnacho ask Ronaldo if he could copy his celebration?
— UtdFaithfuls (@UtdFaithfuls) November 3, 2022
Garnacho asks Ronaldo if he can do his celebration, Ronaldo gives his blessing from soccer
Garnacho shows his love for Ronaldo
It’s hard to say if Garnacho was asking for permission per se, but it certainly looks as though it came up in conversation beforehand with the United youngster seemingly hinting at the hand pose ahead of time.
Either way, you only have to look at the way that Garnacho behaves around Ronaldo in general to see just how much he idolises the United number seven.
And his admiration was apparent, too, in his Instagram post celebrating the victory, writing in the caption: “18 years and 125 days dreaming of this moment. Thanks Idol, @cristiano.”
What does Ronaldo’s new celebration mean?
But what’s the celebration all about? Well, according to United’s official website, it’s apparently based on how Ronaldo sleeps when he’s travelling with the rest of the squad. Yes, seriously.
The article explained: “We can now reveal that Ronaldo’s celebration was a self-deprecating in-joke with his fellow team-mates, highlighting the strong bonds among the players in Erik ten Hag’s squad.
“Of course, Cristiano is renowned for looking after himself and ensuring he is always in the best possible condition, which naturally involves hours of hard work on the training pitch and in the gym.
Soccer Football – Premier League – Everton v Manchester United – Goodison Park, Liverpool, Britain – October 9, 2022 Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their second goal with Antony Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
“It also includes resting at the right moments and ensuring he has enough sleep to aid his recovery: it has previously been reported that Ronaldo naps several times a day!
“CR7’s celebration at Everton was amusingly a nod to the position in which he sleeps when travelling with the squad, which hasn’t gone unnoticed by his team-mates who are all eager to learn from him.”
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Somehow, though, we don’t think Garnacho will be sleeping tonight.
Garnacho WONDERGOAL! Real Sociedad 0-1 Manchester United Highlights (Football Terrace)
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