Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has responded to Sir Alex Ferguson’s comments about resting Cristiano Ronaldo, following the recent 1-1 draw with Everton.
Having scored a dramatic stoppage-time winner against Villarreal in the Champions League on 29 September, the 36-year-old was surprisingly dropped to the bench for the clash with the Toffees a few days later, as Solskjaer shuffled his back owing to the quick turnaround between the two games.
Despite taking a first-half lead through Anthony Martial, that decision ultimately backfired for the United boss as his side succumbed to a late equaliser from Andros Townsend, with Ronaldo failing to make a telling impact as a second-half substitute.
Following that frustrating draw at Old Trafford – which leaves the Red Devils on a run of just two wins from their last six games – footage circulating on social media showed legendary manager Ferguson perhaps questioning the decision to rest Ronaldo.
The Scotsman – who won 13 Premier League title during a glorious stint at the club – was seen stating that ‘you should always start your best players’, when discussing the Portugal striker with UFC star Khabib Nurmagomedov after the game.
Despite those comments, the current United boss remained adamant that the returning forward ‘cannot play every single game’ for the club this season.
“I’m quite relaxed about it,” Solskjaer said at his pre-match press conference.
“I disagreed with the gaffer quite a few times and I told my wife quite a few times that I disagreed with him, but that never made headlines as a player.
“I’m sure Sir Alex knows that it doesn’t bother me. We all want to see Cristiano.
Sir Alex telling Khabib that Ronaldo should have started against Everton 🗣
(via khabib_nurmagomedov/IG) pic.twitter.com/qenxP3RfQc
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) October 5, 2021
“We all want to, because he’s unique, he’s different, he’s had a career and everyone wants to come and watch him. But the plain fact of it is he cannot play every single game that we play, that’s just physical nature, human nature.
“He knows how difficult this job is anyway, the gaffer. He didn’t always play the same 11. He took some risks at times to rest Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney or David Beckham, the best players that we had. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t.”
Meanwhile, the Sun are reporting that Ronaldo himself has told the Norwegian that he is fit to play every single game after being left ‘extremely disappointed’ at starting on the bench last time out.
The report suggests that the former Juventus man will inform his manager – and former teammate – when he is not fit and ready to play, although he is seemingly keen to play as much as possible in order to help the club end its recent barren run and secure silverware.
With Leicester City to come on Saturday, the forward is set to return to action after another strong international break for his country, having netted four goals in just two games – including a record-breaking tenth international hat-trick against Luxembourg on Tuesday night.