Mike Phelan praises Cristiano Ronaldo after outstanding header

Former Manchester United hero Cristiano Ronaldo is in the headlines once again after scoring a wonderful header for Juventus against Sampdoria last night.

The stunning strike won all three points for the Italian champions and attracted praise from Old Trafford too.

United assistant manager Mike Phelan took to Twitter to praise Ronaldo for his goal – which resembled one he scored during his United days – and his work ethic.

Ronaldo has elevated himself to the level he has got to through an unbelievable level of professionalism, working tirelessly to perfect his skills and get as fit as he possibly can.

That’s why he is still doing the business at the age of 34, and is capable of swinging the Champions League or European Championship this summer his side’s way.

For contrast, Wayne Rooney is eight months younger and is bound for his Derby County next month, after a disappointing spell with Everton and winding down at DC United.

FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images

The goal Phelan was referring to came in the quarter finals of the Champions League in 2007, away from home against Roma.

United lost 2-1 on the night but Ronaldo powered home a bullet header where the time he hung in the air was ridiculous.

That was the season where Ronaldo became more prolific and that header was an early sign of the all-round forward he would become.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.