Raphael Varane’s transfer completion from Real Madrid to Manchester United was delayed due to various circumstances, but once everything was formalised the champion centre-back arrived at Old Trafford for the first time in style – welcomed by 75,000 cheering voices on Saturday.
The Frenchman posed for pictures with a United shirt, numbered 19, on the pitch. He then took a selfie, and also got the chance to meet BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand at pitchside. “Win, win, win”, was the clear message from his idol.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his new teammates then went on to make the afternoon even better by thrashing Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United 5-1, with fellow countryman Paul Pogba recording four assists in the game.
The Premier League opener in England’s Northwest couldn’t have gone any better, with the Red Devils garnering praise for both the unveiling and their performance.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who played alongside Varane in Madrid and together won four Champions League trophies, also admired the scenes in Manchester.
The former United superstar commented ‘grande’ – Spanish for ‘great’ – on Ferdinand’s Instagram video of the meeting.
The old style of unveiling a new signing in the Theatre of Dreams that was full-house for the first time in nearly 18 months was literally stuff of dreams for the player and the fans who became restless seeing the likes of PSG and Chelsea announcing their high-profile transfers swiftly.
The atmosphere in the stadium trumped the trend of social media videos, making the delay worth the wait.