The first significant contribution of the night to Juventus No. 7 was to pull a trick on Ashley Young right in front of the outs. After failing, Cristiano Ronaldo stood up laughing and it was no wonder.
When Ronaldo left England in 2009, Young was a left-winger from the bombing for Aston Villa. Here, at 33, he played full back for Manchester United. On the right. And he was the captain.
It would take a while to talk to Ronaldo about how United has got to where they are, but then he already knows almost everything. Part of his attention has always remained in Manchester and he knows how this has been achieved.
It was a return to Old Trafford for Cristiano Ronaldo, and his counterpart Paul Pogba appeared.
Pogba had a couple of opportunities, but was overtaken by the Portuguese at night.
Although he did not reach the score sheet, Ronaldo was very visible throughout the game.
With all the talk of Ronaldo before the game, some of them also sought to make comparisons with Paul Pogba, which was unfair and just at the same time.
Unfair because the two players were at different stages of their careers when they tried to hit Old Trafford. Ronaldo was a boy, Pogba, when he returned to the club two years ago, was the winner of the Serie A and finalist of the Champions League.
Just because now both are paid to have a great impact on the games, both are expected to take their teams to high places, and so far only one of them does.
Ronaldo clearly invested heavily in this game from the beginning. That was made clear by the way he played. Ronaldo usually does less work when the opposition is in possession of what he did, and the bar was quite low a long time ago.
Here, however, he ran thirty yards back to beat Young with a loose ball early in the middle of United, then, a moment or two later, he made an important header to prevent a cross from penetrating the penalty area. penalty for Juventus.
Ronaldo was, in short, highly visible long before he provided the cross on the right that ultimately led to the winning goal. Pogba, on the other hand, was less prominent.
Pogba is not particularly fast, and for a tall man he is not so good in the air either
The French midfielder hovered in his path of slight and slightly coltish extremities, but he was on the margins rather than in the center of the play. In the second half, he improved enormously, like United, and the quick turn and the shot he threw against the post was a moment of very good category. The problem was that we had waited almost 80 minutes.
Previously and looking for a noticeable influence, he had hit a pass & # 39; Hollywood & # 39; directly out of the game when he tried to find Romelu Lukaku from 60 yards. His teammate Victor Lindelof opted to applaud that, but no one among the 78,000 present considered it.
At this stage it was pertinent to ask ourselves what we should expect from Pogba. What are your strengths? Sometimes it is difficult to say it.
It should be overwhelmingly strong and powerful, but it does not necessarily look like it. He is not particularly fast and for a tall man he is not too effective in the air.
Meanwhile, Ronaldo let us know what it was about as soon as he arrived at United in 2003. No one here when he made his debut as an understudy against Bolton on the first day of that season will forget what we saw. Fast, direct, strong, safe.
It was a successful return to Manchester for Ronaldo since the Dybala strike separated the teams.
Outside the field, Ronaldo also impressed almost everyone with whom he played. The captain at that time was Roy Keane, a man not always so easy to beat.
Keane said in his second autobiography: "He was immediately one of the most hard-working players in United.
& # 39; He was handsome and he knew it. He was in that sense, in the mirror. But I would think: "Good in you". Looking at some of the other boys in front of the mirror, he would think: "Yeh f ***** g nugget."
Keane has spoken harshly about Pogba on television in recent times and one wonders what he did the way the former Juventus player came to United in 2016. Behind the flashes and the dry ice was supposed to lurk a footballer, but where is he?
A lot of this is not Pogba's fault. Advertising was United's idea. They did it again the day that Alexis Sánchez arrived and look what happened to him.
So far, Pogba has not lived up to expectations after a large transfer of money to Old Trafford
In the same way, all players can learn from Ronaldo's pursuit of excellence over the years. Pogba is not shy about work. He puts a change on the field and does not have a reputation as a poor coach.
Perhaps the answer, at least in his own head, is that he only needs to play for a better team. Ronaldo has always prospered more when he is given the platform to play where and how he wants it. Sir Alex Ferguson made sure he had it in the glory years and asked other players to make sacrifices to make sure it happened.
José Mourinho, meanwhile, tends to place players in straight tactical jackets. With the current United manager, the system will always triumph over the power of the individual, at least it will do so these days.
But really cool players make the teams they play a bit better, no matter how low the starting point. Great players often find ways to influence a game.
Ronaldo will do it until the day he packed it all. Pogba, despite some flashes of influence here, has not yet started and is now 26 years old.