Superstar Ronaldo will be in Perth for the Festival of Football, says Manchester United legend Denis Irwin

Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo will star in the blockbuster clash against English Premier League rivals Aston Villa at the Optus Stadium in July.

The match is part of a two-night international football fest with Leeds United taking on Crystal Palace in the other match.

Ronaldo, who re-signed for United last year on a two-year deal with the option of a one-year extension, has been one of their few players to stand out this season.

But there has been speculation the 37-year-old Portugal international is unwanted by new manager Erik ten Hag.

There are also rumors that he will quit at the end of the season if United fail to qualify for next year’s Champions League.

But when United’s former great Denis Irwin, speaking at the launch of the weekend’s football bonanza, was asked if Ronaldo would play, he replied: “Absolutely.

Camera iconManchester United great Denis Irwin has said superstar Cristiano Ronaldo will travel to Perth with his team. Credit: Rui Viera/PA

“He still has a year left on his contract.

“We’re going to bring a full squad.”

With the World Cup on the horizon, Irwin, now a club ambassador, said the players would have no options on the pre-season tour which is also taking place in Thailand and the Eastern States.

“Absolutely not,” said the former Republic of Ireland international.

“They play for Manchester United.

“We will bring the best team possible.

“I don’t think anyone will be thinking about the World Cup at this stage.”

Manchester United's Denis Irwin puts his side in front from the penalty spot during his team's English Premier League match against Liverpool Thursday, September 24, 1998, in Manchester.  United won the game 2-0.  (AP Photo/Dave Kendall) -- UK OUT.  NO REVIEWS.  NO SALE--
Camera iconManchester United legend Denis Irwin is the face of the club’s second trip to the Optus Stadium. Credit: DAVID KENDALL/PA

United have had a bad season and the tour will give ten Hag the chance to check out the team.

“We have a new manager coming in, everyone is excited about that,” Irwin said.

“Every player will want to impress.

“We’re bringing a great squad, a new manager, it’s almost time to reset I guess.

“It’s been a very bad year, you have to raise your hand and admit it.

“I don’t think you can hide from that fact.

“It’s perfect for the pre-season. It really is.

“The environment, the weather, is really ideal for the players.

“Playing at Villa will be a fantastic opportunity.”

MILAN, ITALY - MAY 28: Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid takes off his shirt in celebration after scoring the winning penalty during the penalty shootout during the UEFA Champions League Final match between Real Madrid and Club Atletico de Madrid at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on May 28, 2016 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)
Camera iconCristiano Ronaldo and his signature celebrations are set to light up Perth’s Optus Stadium later this year. Credit: Alexander Hassenstein – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

The state government says clubs are committed to bringing together full squads, giving fans the chance to watch players like Ronaldo, whose grandparents Jose Vivieros and Maria-Angela Spinola moved to WA about 20 years ago from Funchal to Madeira.

United surrendered three years ago, beating Perth Glory 2-0 in front of 50,206 fans while a further 55,274 spectators watched the 4-0 demolition of a weakened Leeds.

The Western Australian government said the visit boosted the economy by $16.5 million with 13,000 visitors from 30 countries and interstate.

Tourism Minister Roger Cook said the July games were funded by the government’s $196 million “reconnect package” to bring visitors to WA.

“We want a decent game. We want to make sure they bring their best teams because we want it to be an important sporting event,” he said.

Leeds take on Palace on Friday July 22 with the United-Villa clash the following night.

Comments are closed.