While Manchester United have dropped points in their past two matches, 36-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo has netted four in as many opening games for the Red Devils
Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United return has so far been every bit the fairytale he hoped from a personal point of view.
While the Red Devils have dropped points in their past two matches, the 36-year-old has netted four in as many opening games for United.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has had no reason to substitute the Portugal international in the Premier League, but there will come a time when Ronaldo needs to make way.
And the Red Devils manager will be hoping he can avoid opening a can of worms.
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They were 2-0 up in the Manchester derby when Sir Alex Ferguson decided to take off a young Ronaldo, presumably to keep him fresh for Europe.
Ronaldo reacted badly to the decision and after snatching his tracksuit top from the assistant kit man, threw it on the ground and took his place on the bench.
Dwight Yorke said of the incident at the time: “When you look at what is happening at United – going for the title and in the Champions League final – everything is great.
“Then you get someone behaving like that. To throw away his tracksuit top and huff and puff is uncalled for and out of order, there is no need.”
Yorke also said of Ronaldo, and Carlos Tevez, in an interview with The Sun: “Ole used to come in and score goals and when crunch games came he could be back on the bench.
“Ole was not happy but he accepted it and, when he was called up, he was ready to go. The boss doesn’t think, ‘Poor lad, let’s give him a game’.
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“It has to be justified and fit into his planning. The club is always going to be bigger than one individual – Ronaldo and Tevez need to understand that.”
Ronaldo has learnt a lot since he was a young man during his first stint at United, but his desire to win has not wavered.
And while it is unlikely Ronaldo would react in the same way, Solskjaer knows he’ll have to manage the striker effectively to get the best out of him this season.