Cristiano Ronaldo played 45 minutes for Manchester United against Rayo Vallecano on Sunday, but was unable to mark his first pre-season appearance with a goal.
The Portuguese was left out of the squad to face Atletico Madrid on Saturday, having not featured on tour for United this summer either, but revealed on social media that he would be back for the game against Rayo.
Responding to a post on Instagram commenting on his absence for the Atletico match, Ronaldo wrote: "Sunday, the king plays."
That was confirmed by manager Erik ten Hag following the 1-0 loss to Atleti and Ronaldo was named in the starting line-up by the Dutchman for the game at Old Trafford.
The 37-year-old was met with warm applause by the United fans, despite persistent reports he wishes to leave this summer.
However, he looked some way short of full fitness and lacked service in a goalless first half.
The five-time Ballon d'Or winner was replaced by Amad Diallo at the break and the Ivorian put United in front within three minutesafter Rayo goalkeeper Diego Lopez spilled a long-range effort by Alex Telles.
Telles was dispossessed at the other end 10 minutes later and Alvaro Garcia netted from close range after Tom Heaton saved the initial shot from Isi.
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Ben Hayward is Weekend Editor for FourFourTwo. A European football writer with over 15 years’ experience, he has covered games all over the world - including three World Cups, several Champions League finals, Euros, Copa América - and has spent much of that time in Spain. He currently divides his time between Barcelona and London.
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