Cristiano Ronaldo is 36 and he is not intent on taking it easy. The club icon is trying to haul Manchester United back towards former glories, and while there has been a quite serious misstep this season since he arrived, he is determined to get the club back on track.
Ronaldo’s full interview with Sky Sports has been released in which he spoke for 20 minutes about his intent to try and help the team.
While much has been made of his desire to help his teammates kick on, Ronaldo wants to lead by example and get better himself, on and off the pitch.
Ronaldo said: “Even me, New Year I try to improve new things, better things to help the team. Its the main point we are all here to make the team even better, so lets try.
“We have to improve mentality. I look to myself and say what can I do better to help the team?
“Yes I can improve, all the things. To sprint 90 minutes to help my teammates when he is suffering or is tired. Small details during the game, to be smart, to be intelligent to see what the games bring.”
Ronaldo added that he felt the Premier League is the most competitive league in the world right now and has been for the past ‘five or six years’.
It is fascinating to hear Ronaldo talk about how he is analysing his own game and approach. He has scored 14 goals this season and is top scorer, but he could have had far more, missing some easy chances along the way, so he has to get more ruthless in front of goal, even though he is by far and away United’s most consistent goalscorer.
At 36 he is willing to keep pushing himself and has not come back to the Premier League to take it easy.
It would be great to see Ronaldo follow up his interview with a great performance on the pitch this weekend, to really put his actions into words further.
But its not just down to him. Ronaldo has made clear he wishes for the entire squad to lift their game, and it might be that somebody like Jadon Sancho or Marcus Rashford listens to his words and is inspired to really try and impress.
United’s game against Villa feels like a crucial one this weekend as the club cannot afford to lose more ground in the battle for the top four, currently sitting in seventh. Expect a fired up performance from Ronaldo.
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