Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opens up on Man Utd player who Cristiano Ronaldo made ‘suffer most’ at Old Trafford


Former Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has offered a fascinating insight into the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo – a deal that “didn’t work out for me or him”.

Ronaldo joined United from Juventus in the summer of 2021 for £12.86 million plus a potential 6.86 million in add-ons.

Ronaldo’s short spell at United has been a talking point ever since and now, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has opened up on the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s impact at Old Trafford in a fascinating interview.

Speaking on the latest episode of Stick to Football – brought to you by Sky Bet – the Norwegian said: “I was excited so I said ‘yes’ (to signing him). They asked me (the board) ‘would you want us to try this?’ so I said yes.

“He was 37 but I thought we’d have to manage (him), he is the best goalscorer in the world.

“It was my decision, it didn’t work out for me, it didn’t work out for Cristiano but it was the right decision at the time.”

Solskjaer, who was sacked by United after a 4-1 defeat at Watford in November 2021, would later admit that Edinson Cavani was the player who suffered most from Ronaldo’s arrival.

He also detailed how their style of play changed when he featured in the team.

“We started off straight away thinking how we are going to press and change the little tweaks,” he said.

“Cristiano is different to Antony Martial who was up front, or whether we would play Mason (Greenwood) or Marcus (Rashford) up front. Edinson Cavani was the one that suffered the most when Cristiano came in — we’d played and got Edinson into a certain way of understanding the way we played.”

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Solskjaer added: “With the ball, with him in the team, it was no problem. Without him (pressing), we had to change a little bit the different roles we’d gotten used to.

“We were one of the highest pressing teams before (Ronaldo joined). We let Dan James go when Cristiano came in, and they’re two different types of players.

“When he arrived at the club, he wanted to play three or four games, because he realised he was getting older. But when you leave him out once, he’s not happy, or Sir Alex isn’t happy.”

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