Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has spoken publicly for the first time following the sacking of manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Sunday.
Talisman Ronaldo and club legend Solskjaer had a long relationship at United, with the prolific Norwegian and the Portugal captain playing together at Old Trafford between 2003 and 2007.
Solskjaer was in his final four years at the club at the time, and injuries restricted him to 32 appearances alongside Ronaldo, who was then establishing himself as one of the world’s greatest players.
The pair were reunited when Ronaldo made a shock return to the club at the end of August – a rare memorable moment in the final few months of Solskjaer’s three years at the club.
Ronaldo made a dream start to his second spell at the club, scoring three goals in his first two Premier League matches.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has netted only one league goal in his last seven league appearances, though – part of a fatally dismal run of four defeats in five domestic games that led to Solskjaer’s departure.
He’s been my striker when I first came to Old Trafford and he’s been my coach since I came back to Man. United. But most of all, Ole is an outstanding human being. I wish him the best in whatever his life has reserved for him.
Good luck, my friend!
You deserve it! pic.twitter.com/pdm7RXr2RX
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) November 22, 2021
“He’s been my striker when I first came to Old Trafford and he’s been my coach since I came back to Man United,” Ronaldo said of Solskjaer a day after his exit.
“But most of all, Ole is an outstanding human being. I wish him the best in whatever his life has reserved for him. Good luck, my friend. You deserve it.”
A report on Sunday claimed that Ronaldo had privately concluded Solskjaer was not the man to bring trophies to the struggling giants.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær was a great manager for Manchester united until they signed Cristiano Ronaldo,Forget about last minute goals. pic.twitter.com/GuHlENNMGM
— Trig (@Kharlerh) November 20, 2021
The account also said that Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes, had been given assurances by the club that Solskjaer would be sacked with United floundering in seventh in the table, 12 points shy of leaders Chelsea.
In public, the pair have always displayed immense admiration for one another. “As you know, I played with him for two or three years at Manchester United so I have a good relationship with him,” Ronaldo said after his stunning switch to the club from Italian side Juventus.
“But now with a different role, I’m a player and he’s a coach. It doesn’t matter: my relationship with him is great and… I’m here in Manchester to help the team achieve his results.
Some Manchester United players feel they have learnt more at times from tapping into Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani's knowledge than Solskjær and his coaches. pic.twitter.com/I6MUZlVU72
— The CR7 Timeline. (@TimelineCR7) November 21, 2021
“The coach can count on me for whatever he wants. So I’m available for everything.”
Solskjaer said at the time: “You run out of words to describe Cristiano. He is not only a marvellous player but also a great human being.
“To have the desire and the ability to play at the top level for such a long period requires a very special person.”
Ronaldo is rumored to want Spain supremo Luis Enrique to replace Solskjaer. United will aim to hit back from their 4-1 league defeat at Watford on Saturday when they travel to Spanish opponents Villarreal in the Champions League on Tuesday.