Erik ten Hag says Ronaldo ‘close to fitness’ after Europa winner
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has reacted to Cristiano Ronaldo’s Thursday night winner against FC Sherriff in the Europa League matchday 2.
According to Erik ten Hag, Cristiano Ronaldo is fully committed to the Old Trafford project.
Ronaldo attempted to quit the team this summer but was unsuccessful, citing a desire to play more Champions League football. Since then, he has been lagging behind his teammates in terms of fitness.
He had only made three starts in all competitions in the Ten Hag era before Thursday’s Europa League match against Sheriff, but he made it count with a penalty that led to a 2-0 victory.
After Ronaldo’s preseason was cut short, Ten Hag promised to work with him to get him up to speed and was glowing in his praise for the 37-year-old following his noteworthy performance against Sheriff.
“He is really close, when he gets more fitness, he will score more,” the boss said of Ronaldo.
“He’s totally committed to this project, totally involved, he also has connections that are coming around him [on the pitch] and he is constructing connections so I’m happy with that.”
Ten Hag confessed that Ronaldo scoring his first goal of the campaign could have a significant impact on the player’s return to form.
“Ronaldo needed that goal,” Ten Hag told MUTV.
“Many times he came close, but he wanted that so much,. We are happy for him and the team wanted to bring him a goal.
“You know that Cristiano will score a penalty.”