Man Utd analysts ‘made alarming Ronaldo conclusion’ before sudden exit

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Manchester United analysts found one attacker would always pass to Cristiano Ronaldo because they wanted respect from the veteran prior to his sudden Old Trafford exit back in November, reports say. The Portugal international scored 27 goals during his second spell at the club. However, many of his team-mates regressed – having previously shown positive signs of improvement under old boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Manchester United thought Ronaldo would be the ticket to Premier League title glory when he returned from Juventus back in the summer transfer window of 2021.

But though he netted 24 goals across all competitions during his maiden season back at Old Trafford, the veteran failed to propel the Red Devils to the prizes they coveted most.

Ronaldo’s return coincided with other United players, many of which had improved under Solskjaer, regressing on the field.

And The Athletic say the club’s analysts discovered one forward would favour passing to Ronaldo prior to his sudden exit in November.

It’s claimed they felt this individual ‘wanted praise from the Portuguese icon’.

And they also deduced this player would spend ‘every attack’ trying to please the 38-year-old.

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Many members of the United dressing room apparently felt awed being in the presence of Ronaldo, who is one of the greatest players in football history.

And he overwhelmed them, too, which may explain why so many of the supporting cast were unable to save the likes of Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick last season.

Ronaldo was a regular in the United side upon coming back to the Theatre of Dreams after 12 years away.

But he struggled for game time under Erik ten Hag this season, with the Dutchman often preferring Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford to lead the line instead.

Ronaldo decided to vent his fury with his situation in a bombshell interview with Piers Morgan that was broadcasted back in November.

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He then proceeded to rip into Ten Hag, the Glazers and even some of his team-mates – burning his bridges in the process.

United opted to cut Ronaldo loose and the veteran was happy with that decision, hoping he could move to another European club.

But no offer arrived and the former Juventus, Real Madrid and Sporting Lisbon star instead moved to Saudi Arabia with Al-Nassr.

Ronaldo has continued to score goals during his time in the Middle East so far, netting 11 times from 11 Saudi Pro League appearances and clocking up two assists.

However, not everything has gone his way.

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Ronaldo has faced Lionel Messi taunts during virtually every match, something that clearly riles the Portugal international.

And Al-Nassr have struggled for consistency, too, and face a fight to win the Saudi Pro League having topped the division at the time of the 38-year-old’s arrival.

Meanwhile, Nemanja Vidic recently opened up on Ronaldo in a chat with his old centre-back partner Rio Ferdinand.

He said: “I think the Cristiano Ronaldo situation helped Ten Hag.

“What Cristiano Ronaldo said made it easy for him to do it [allow him to leave].

“I think in general he [Ten Hag] was patient with this situation and in the end he gets what he wants in terms of Man United playing more like a team than in the last four or five years.”

Vidic was then asked about United signing a world-class Ronaldo replacement in this summer’s transfer window, amid interest in the likes of Harry Kane and Victor Osimhen.

He added: “If you ask me honestly, I would say that it is not just a striker [that United need].

“I think that definitely the players who win you the title is the players who are playing in the middle. That is a striker, midfield player and two central defenders.

“Everything else you can do it but this is the heart of the team. I think striker is the toughest question you can ask me.

“I would not buy a striker if I am not sure about them. Thing with Kane, how much money would you have to spend and how old is he?

“He is a top striker for the last 10 years, he will score the goals but definitely there are other options.”

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