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Erik ten Hag admits he cannot wait to work with ‘magnificent’ Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United and calls the Portuguese forward ‘a true winner’ as he prepares to start his new era at Old Trafford
- Erik ten Hag is preparing to become Manchester United’s next manager
- The Dutchman admits he cannot wait to work with Cristiano Ronaldo next term
- He called the forward ‘a true winner’ ahead of linking up with him at Old Trafford
Incoming Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag admits he cannot wait to work with Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford, calling the player ‘magnificent’ as he prepares to kickstart his reign at the club.
Ten Hag will get to work after the current season ends following United’s final game against Crystal Palace on Sunday, with the Dutchman facing a huge summer ahead of him to decide which players should stay and which areas he needs to strengthen.
There have been question marks over Ronaldo’s future under Ten Hag, with some pundits asking whether he will figure into the new coach’s plans and tactics.
Incoming Man United boss Erik ten hag has hailed Cristiano Ronaldo as ‘magnificent’
But Ten Hag has dispelled any doubts over their relationship by hailing him in his final interview with Ajax and calling him ‘a true winner’.
He had been reflecting on a pitchside chat with Ronaldo in 2019 after his Ajax side played Juventus in the Champions League, where the legendary forward complimented his side on their playing style.
‘That was an interesting chat,’ he said in his interview.
‘I think he could appreciate the way we played. He is a true winner and a magnificent player. I can’t wait to work with him.’
He admits he cannot wait to work with him at Old Trafford and called him a true winner
Ronaldo has already returned the compliment to Ten Hag, praising his achievements with Ajax and urging the club to ‘give him time’.
‘I know that he has done a fantastic job at Ajax, and that he is an experienced coach, but we have to give him time,’ Ronaldo told United’s official website last week.
‘Things must change the way he wants.
‘If he does well, all of Manchester United will be successful, so I wish him well. We are all happy and excited [about his arrival], not only as players, but as fans as well.
Ronaldo has also complimented Ten Hag and hailed his achievements during his time at Ajax
‘We have to believe that next year we can win titles.’
While United have endured a miserables season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and then interim coach Ralf Rangnick, Ronaldo has been one of the standout stars, bailing the team out on several occasions with 24 goals in all competitions.
However, he has attracted negative headlines by storming off the pitch following disappointing results – and infamously slapped a phone out of an Everton fan’s hand after a defeat to the Toffees last month.
His fiery nature has earned criticism from pundits, with some claiming it was a mistake from United to re-sign the player from Juventus last summer.
One of those was Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher, who believes the move made United look like a small club.
Ronaldo’s return to United has not been easy and there have been doubts over his future
‘I’ve always been of the opinion that they should move him on, but right now, there are so many problems – “I need to get a midfielder, I need to get a centre-back.” We’ve seen this season that when Ronaldo doesn’t play or gets brought off, it’s a massive story.
‘If you bring in strikers, are they to play or back up Ronaldo? If you’re the new manager, you might think you don’t need that on your plate.
‘They’ve got other problems. Would Liverpool ring back Luis Suarez? I don’t think so. United should be getting Erling Haaland. Man City are getting him.
‘It’s like United are a small club. It’s like when Rooney went back to Everton. It was just to lift the fans.’