KEY POINTS

  • Ronaldo recently returned to his former club Man Utd
  • He scored a brace in Man Utd's 4-1 win Saturday
  • Man Utd are currently placed at the top of the league table

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Saturday said he will manage Cristiano Ronaldo’s workload and the Portuguese star won’t play every game this season. 

Ronaldo, who recently returned to Old Trafford, had a memorable second debut with Manchester United during his side’s home game against Leeds in the Premier League on Saturday. The 36-year-old forward netted a brace in Manchester United’s 4-1 win as the Red Devils went at the top of the 2021-22 Premier League table.

Even though Ronaldo had trained just for a week before the Leeds game, the former Real Madrid superstar made a massive difference with his presence on the field this weekend at Old Trafford.

"The thing with Cristiano is that he looks after himself so much so I know he will recover quickly and he has had a pre-season. Of course, it’s important that we get everyone up and running and to get him up and running and to give him 90 minutes. Of course, there is a game on Tuesday (against Young Boys). We will see what we do. But no, it’s not impossible to leave him out. He is 36, Mason [Greenwood] is 19, so it’s the same, I have to manage his minutes, and I have to manage a 36-year-old’s minutes as well," Solskjaer was quoted by Reuters, as saying, after the Leeds game. 

One of the rituals at Manchester United is that new players address the squad and even sometimes sing a song after becoming a Red. Solskjaer also revealed that Ronaldo stood in front of the whole squad Friday night at the team hotel and gave a motivational speech.

"Everyone who comes into the team has to introduce themselves – not everyone knew his name, so they do now!" Solskjaer joked during his post-match press conference. 

"He [Ronaldo] does what he does. He lifts everyone, he gets everyone so focused around the place, he puts demands on himself which then puts demands on his teammates 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," Solskjaer was quoted by Man Utd’s official website, as saying in the press conference.

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 134 Champions League goals in 176 games Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 134 Champions League goals in 176 games Photo: AFP / Oli SCARFF

All eyes once again will be on Ronaldo Tuesday when Manchester United takes on Swiss club Young Boys in their Champions League opener in Bern.