Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted that he would have taken Cristiano Ronaldo off for his second Manchester United debut if the Portuguese superstar asked.
It was unlikely that this would happen as five-time Ballon d’Or winner enjoyed an emotional return at Old Trafford against Newcastle.
It was as though he hadn’t been away from home in 36 years. He had a two-goal performance that saw him being hailed as a hero during, and after.
United made some changes against Newcastle in the second half, but Ronaldo lasted the 90 minutes. Solskjaer spoke to reporters afterward about his decision to let go of a star striker: “He said that his name was Cristiano. That’s all I can say.”
“I did not want to take him off, unless he asked.” He needs minutes, he has lost a few games against Portugal and Juventus, so he needed to get at least 90 minutes.
A confident personality is aware of the expectations at Old Trafford, having previously achieved Premier League and Champions League victories with United.
With his simple presence, he is determined to continue where he left off.
Solskjaer was asked if Ronaldo had given a speech to his teammates following his arrival. They know his name now.
“The club atmosphere has been electric, the fans have enjoyed the past 10 days, lots of expectations on today’s team and he’s delivered.
Ronaldo, as good as he may be, will not be able turn United into title contenders again.
He has a star-studded support cast, with Jesse Lingard and Bruno Fernandes also scoring in the 4-1 win over Newcastle.
Portugal international Fernandes has a great understanding of Ronaldo’s contributions to any given team, having been a part of the Red Devils’ greatest ever football team.
Sky Sports quoted him as saying: “Everyone knows the value Cristiano Ronaldo has brought to the club, and we are very happy to have him.
He will tell you that the most important thing is the team’s result. It is possible to play well with other players.
“We made some mistakes at the end of last season, but we did very well.” The club has seen a lot of improvement and it’s time to move on.