Pablo Fornals discusses the moment he beat Cristiano Ronaldo as West Ham prepare to face Man United


Pablo Fornals pays full credit to West Ham boss David Moyes for his return to the Spanish fold after three years out of Luis Enrique’s plans… and resurgent Hammer hopes to get one over Cristiano Ronaldo AGAIN

  • West Ham face a Man United side stocked with Cristiano Ronaldo on Sunday
  • Pablo Fornals has experience beating the United star with a 2018 LaLiga win 
  • The midfielder earned his first senior Spain cap in over three years in August 
  • The Spaniard claims he owes his resurgence to Hammers boss David Moyes


The second coming of David Moyes at West Ham is as remarkable a football fairy tale as the goalscoring return of Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United.

That is the view in east London of the Scottish manager who has turned West Ham from serial relegation candidates into a European side in his second spell.

He has also helped re-establish Pablo Fornals as a senior Spain star – as he proved with a goal on his return to international duty in the recent 2022 World Cup qualifier win over Kosovo.

Pablo Fornals has transformed himself into an elite international player at West Ham

David Moyes has turned West Ham from serial relegation candidates into a European side

David Moyes has turned West Ham from serial relegation candidates into a European side 

That was a first cap in over three years for Fornals, who played in a winning Villarreal side against Ronaldo’s Real Madrid before joining West Ham for a the club record of £24milllion in 2019.

And he has no doubt Moyes will be the main man when he leads out his Hammers against the Manchester stars he managed less successfully on Sunday.

The midfielder said: ‘The first thing I did when I saw the Spain squad list was say thanks to the gaffer and to my team-mates. Without the work of every one of us, I could not be there.

Pablo Fornals has re-established himself as a senior Spain star under Moyes's tenure

Pablo Fornals has re-established himself as a senior Spain star under Moyes’s tenure

‘I’m really proud of my team-mates and all the staff as well. For everyone who can represent his country playing football, it’s a massive thing so I am really happy.’

The 25-year-old, who made his LaLiga breakthrough with Malaga, was not at West Ham when Moyes was first in charge, but is aware the impression he made on his team-mates.

Fornals added: ‘We spoke about it. It was a bit of a similar moment. The team wasn’t too good, the gaffer came and saved the team.

‘In this second time he has stayed with us, we have just kept doing what we do and that’s why we are where we are.’

The Spaniard earned his first cap in three years and scored in World Cup qualifiers this month

The Spaniard earned his first cap in three years and scored in World Cup qualifiers this month

West Ham face a Manchester United stocked with lethal weapon Cristiano Ronaldo on Sunday

West Ham face a Manchester United stocked with lethal weapon Cristiano Ronaldo on Sunday

Ronaldo will obviously get his share of the attention on Sunday too, however, and West Ham can take comfort from the fact Fornals knows how to beat him from matches past.

The Spaniard is too modest to take credit for that landmark 2018 Bernabeu win and said: ‘I didn’t beat Cristiano Ronaldo. It is not like I played against him one against one.

‘I played for Villarreal against Real Madrid and of course it was a massive moment for us as it was the first time Villarreal had beaten Real Madrid at that stadium so it was a big moment, not just for me but for the club as well.’

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