Solskjaer says Ronaldo is just as quick as he was first time around at United

As expected, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was asked plenty of questions about Cristiano Ronaldo at his press conference ahead of Manchester United’s clash with Newcastle.

Solskjaer sung the praises of his new signing, and said he can go on and emulate Ryan Giggs by playing into his 40s.

Solskjaer’s comments echo those of United’s record goalscorer Wayne Rooney, as per Sky Sports.

He also said that the stats show Ronaldo is still just as quick as ever, even though he’s clearly a different player to the one he was when he left Old Trafford.

Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images


“He’s always had this determination and desire to be the best. He still has that,” said Solskjaer of Ronaldo. “Ryan Giggs played until 40-odd and I’m not gonna be surprised if Cristiano ends up [playing] at the same age as Ryan.

“He’s one of the most accurate finishers I’ve seen; one of the best in the air, his timing, desire to get on the end of crosses is second to none. He hits the target 99 times out of 100 outside of the box.

“He’s still as quick, it looks like from the stats, and he’s a shining leading star, everyone’s going to look up to him. He’s going to be a leader in this dressing room.”

“He’ll be looking in the next few years to play and score as much as he can. He’s a threat from direct set plays but also on the end of crosses. He’s adding something extra we haven’t got.”

Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Could Ronaldo stay even longer?

Ronaldo has a two-year contract at United, but if he emulates Giggs, he could end up staying even longer.

Giggs was still contributing to title-winning squads in his 40s and Ronaldo is fit and professional enough to do the same.

Maybe it’s wise not to look to far ahead at this stage, with the excitement building over Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford.

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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.