Rio says Bruno should let Ronaldo take pens – but not free-kicks

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Rio Ferdinand believes Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo should share set-piece duties at Manchester United this season.

The Portuguese pair are both deadly from dead ball scenarios, which has led to question marks over who will take free-kicks and penalties at Old Trafford following Ronaldo's move from Juventus.

Fernandes is currently United's set-piece specialist, even earning the nickname 'Penandes' from opposition fans due to his exploits from the penalty spot.

He has scored 21 penalties and two free-kicks since joining the Red Devils at the start of 2020, but Ferdinand thinks he should now hand over spot-kick duties to the returning Ronaldo.

Ferdinand told his FIVE podcast: "I think Bruno gives up penalties but doesn't relinquish free-kicks and corners.

"The free-kicks around the box, he's going to be on them I think. I think his record demands that he should do that.

'He (Ronaldo) takes the penalties, 100 per cent.

"They agree to give him the penalties but I think free-kicks around the box, Bruno's just wiping the ball and putting it down.

Who do you think should take set-pieces for Manchester United this season? Let us know in the comments section.

"I think Bruno sees the bigger picture, that this guy can get us over the line to win us trophies.

"If that means my percentage of goal involvements goes down but he gets his hands on a big trophy, he'd take that all day long."

One of the Premier League's most iconic moments saw Ronaldo use his trademark 'knuckleball' technique to fool David James in 2008.

More recently, the 36-year-old's free-kick conversation rate hasn't been great.

He scored one direct effort from a free-kick situation in over 70 attempts during his time at Juventus.

The veteran has also been mocked after wasting free-kicks for Portugal.

Ronaldo's penalty record for the Serie A club was much more impressive, scoring 27 out of his 32 attempts for the Old Lady.

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Fernandes, on the other hand, has scored two direct free-kicks for United – against Bournemouth and Liverpool.

He also produced a stunning effort in a pre-season defeat of Everton earlier this month.

The 26-year-old looks set to break Ruud Van Nistelrooy's record of 28 successful penalties for the Red Devils, requiring just eight more to overtake the legendary Dutchman.

  • Rio Ferdinand
  • Manchester United FC
  • Premier League
  • Cristiano Ronaldo

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