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“He’s wasn’t happy” – Christian Eriksen jokes about Man United strategy that Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t like



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Credit: IMAGO / NurPhoto

Christian Eriksen has joked that Cristiano Ronaldo “wasn’t happy” when he took a free-kick over the Portuguese legend before he left Manchester United.

The Danish captain revealed that United have a flexible approach when it comes to free-kick takers; with a number of players able to strike from a set piece.

Eriksen is yet to score from a direct free-kick for the club, but he has managed more set-piece assists (5) in the Premier League than any other player since he returned to action in January 2022.

Meanwhile, Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes also both can be dangerous takers – with the former being more likely to take free-kicks further outside of the box than his counterparts.

Before he left the club in November, Ronaldo was also part of the conversation, of course. Despite his free-kick record being underwhelming in recent years, the superstar still regularly lined them up during his return to Old Trafford.

Yet, with a flexible approach to who takes them, Ronaldo wasn’t always on free-kicks, and Eriksen recalls one time where the striker was left unimpressed.

Speaking to former United midfielder Owen Hargreaves in a free-kick masterclass for Premier League Productions, Eriksen said: “Even now at the club we have multiple takers who if he’s had a good day, he’s going to have it. [Eriksen, Fernandes] and Rashy. They’re probably the three and Ronaldo when he was here, obviously.

“I did take one [instead of Ronaldo], I think, but he wasn’t too happy with that! But then with the three we have now, it’s where we are on the pitch, how people are feeling, so it’s like ‘you had the last one, I’ll have the next one’.”

Eriksen has also built a strong relationship with his fellow midfielders at Old Trafford.

The 30-year-old is best suited alongside Casemiro and with Bruno Fernandes in front of him. When all starting together, they have lost just once this season.

“I think from day one we connected really quick,” added Eriksen. “We have three different players but three guys who are not scared of taking the ball and trying to create something.”