Cristiano Ronaldo made statements both on and off the pitch on Saturday, where he made his second debut for Manchester United. After bagging himself a brace against Newcastle, Cristiano claimed that United’s side has “huge potential” and wants to aim for Premier League and Champions League glory.
The United legend had to wait around two weeks to make his ‘second debut’ for the club. It was well worth the wait.
After opening the scoring for The Reds in the first-half with a smart tap-in, Ronaldo showed some more skill, power and quality to secure his second of the game on 62 minutes; which also gave United their lead back after Javier Manquillo made it 1-1 shortly after half-time.
It was a stellar performance by Ronaldo and United and it put the Reds to the top of the Premier League table. They have their first Champions League match against Young Boys on Tuesday night- something that Ole Gunnar Solskjær thinks his players should relish.
When asked about preparing to travel to the away fixture on Monday, Solskjær stated: “This is what it’s about being at Manchester United. Every three or four days, you play a game that matters, with a crowd and supporters who believe.”
After assuring the media on Friday that United were going to make sure that a similar result to the loss against Istanbul Başakşehir does not happen this season, Solskjær will be feeling confident going into this years Champions League campaign. And so is Ronaldo.
United’s no.7 is targeting a sixth Champions League alongside a fourth Premier League title as he recognises that he has a squad around him capable of breaking their trophy duck in the most extraordinary way. Speaking to club media after the game, Ronaldo made himself clear.
“This team has huge potential. We have fantastic players, a good coach, a good team and we need to build up the mentality to win the Premier League and even the Champions League.
“I’m here to help the team. The eleven that we play, and the players on the bench can help as well. Like I told you, we have a good team and the spirit is there.
“Like I said three days ago. I’m not here for a vacation. I’m here to win, to help the team and I’m looking forward to a great season.”
Sitting pretty at the top of the table, United should have ambitions to stay there and also compete on the continent. However it isn’t as simple as that.
While there is issues in the centre of the pitch, this is a team with firepower rarely seen before in the Premier League — the amount of match winners there are in this United squad is scary.
Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo were on the scoresheet today, while Mason Greenwood has netted in all of the previous three matches. Jadon Sancho looked more comfortable in his second United start and will only keep improving. Paul Pogba is already on a record seven assists after the first four league games of a season and you also have to look at the likes of Edinson Cavani and Marcus Rashford who were United’s second and third top goal scorers last season.
They will need to keep their feet placed firmly on the ground if they’re going to get anything out of the season, however, there seems to be more confidence with the likes of Cristiano and Raphaël Varane in the changing room. The former Real Madrid pair have both won countless trophies and have brought in extra professionalism and drive to a youthful side.
Speaking on the two signings on Friday, Ole highlighted their importance in raising standards among the squad.
“He [Cristiano] comes with his winning mentality. He & Varane have won the Champions League a few times, they’ve won European Championships & World Cups. When you have players like this, there’s no hiding place because you’ll be told if you don’t do the right thing.”
With another match in three days, United are firmly in the ‘hectic’ stage of the campaign- with fixtures left, right and centre- it’s sure to be an interesting ride.