At the start of the season, few would have predicted that Cristiano Ronaldo would have been Manchester United’s top scorer in all competitions in November.
The 36-year-old joined the club when three Premier League games had already been played and his impact has now been praised by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who has hit back at critics arguing Ronaldo is the issue.
Ronaldo has scored nine goals in his first 11 appearances since he sealed his second coming at Old Trafford, with the latest two-goal show at Atalanta in the Champions League all but securing United’s place in the next phase of the tournament.
Solskjaer addressed the press ahead of Saturday’s Manchester derby and reserved special praise for his superstar forward.
🗣 "He's one of the best players that has ever walked on this planet."
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Cristiano Ronaldo has made an 'immense impact' since rejoining the club this summer. pic.twitter.com/QngjhcjXPM
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) November 5, 2021
🥁 Presenting October's Player of the Month…
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) November 5, 2021
“He’s one of the best players that has ever walked on this planet,” Solskjaer told Sky Sports, as seen above. “His impact so far on and off the pitch has been absolutely immense.
“The goals he scores, the way he conducts himself in and around the place. How people can say that’s a negative, I can’t see that one.
“I’m really, really pleased he has started as well as he has. That’s what he does, he scores goals, he works for his team and he’s a top, top professional.”
SN’s verdict on Ronaldo’s performances this season…
Manchester United’s four-game winless run in the Premier League coincided with Ronaldo not scoring in any of the games and subsequently, the press were on him immediately and doubts were beginning to creep into some supporters.
If there’s one thing you shouldn’t do with Ronaldo, it’s doubting his abilities. Even at 36, he now boasts a spectacular scoring record this season and that has been highlighted again on Friday as he was named Manchester United’s Player of the Month for October.
Ronaldo has added maturity to this United side and his partnership with Edinson Cavani, showcased for the first time against Tottenham last week, will only improve.
The Portugal international is often compared to Lionel Messi but it’s telling that despite being two years older than his Paris Saint-Germain counterpart, he is continuing to make the difference whilst Messi is enduring a troublesome period in France.
The former Barcelona star has failed to assist or score a goal for PSG in Ligue 1, despite joining the club nearly three months ago. Comparisons between the pair won’t stop anytime soon but undeniably, Ronaldo’s impact on Manchester United this season can’t be understated.