Coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed how Cristiano Ronaldo addressed his Manchester United team-mates the night before his dream second debut for the club.
It’s a ritual at the club for new players to address the squad and sometimes even sing a song after becoming a Red and Ole told reporters how our no.7 stood up in front of his team-mates at the hotel on Friday night.
“Everyone who comes into the team has to introduce themselves – not everyone knew his name, so they do now!” joked the manager, during his post-match press conference.
“The atmosphere has been electric around the club, the supporters have really enjoyed the last 10 days or so since he signed and there were loads of expectations obviously this afternoon on the team and on him, and he’s delivered.
“He does what he does,” added the boss. “He lifts everyone, he gets everyone so focused around the place, he puts demands on himself which then puts demands on his team-mates and demands on us and that’s why he’s done so much in his career, he’s been so disciplined. He’s evolved, he’s developed as a player, he’s a different type of player to when he left but he’s still a ruthless and clinical goalscorer, he smells the big moments and senses when there are goals.”
Asked how Ronaldo had changed as a player since Ole played alongside him, the manager said, “He’s developed into a miles better footballer than when he was here through the years.
“Sometimes he can drift up to the sides, then turn and finish from there. You’re not going to use him as a battering ram are you! He likes to roam. The big thing about him is he senses the big moments and he knows when to arrive in the box and when to run in behind. I thought he played the game very, very maturely and in a simple way. He didn’t give too many balls away, he gave one ball away. But he was very efficient with his football.
“I didn’t want to take him off unless he wanted to come off,” added Ole, when asked whether he considered substituting him. “He needs minutes, he needs to play. He had a little pre-season and lost a few games for Juve and Portugal so he needed to get 90 minutes into him.”