Erik ten Hag claims Cristiano Ronaldo’s goalscoring prowess will return once his fitness improves… and praises the striker for his ‘connections’ during Man United’s Europa League triumph in Moldova
- Man United beat Sheriff Tiraspol 2-0 in their Europa League clash on Thursday
- Cristiano Ronaldo scored the second goal of the game from the penalty spot
- It marked Ronaldo’s first goal of the season and his 699th career club goal
- Erik ten Hag has backed Ronaldo to score more goals once he gets fitter
- The manager also praised Ronaldo for building connections on the pitch
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has backed Cristiano Ronaldo to score ‘more goals’ once his fitness improves.
Ronaldo scored his first goal of the 2022-2023 campaign during United’s 2-0 win over Sheriff Tiraspol on Thursday evening.
However, Ronaldo still cut a frustrated figure during United’s Europa League tie and found himself lashing out at his fans.
Erik ten Hag has backed Cristiano Ronaldo to score ‘more goals’ once his fitness improves
Speaking after the game, Ten Hag praised Ronaldo’s contribution and said the 37-year-old would score more goals once his fitness improved.
The Manchester United manager said: ‘He [Ronaldo] is really close, when he gets more fitness he will score more.
‘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.’
Ronaldo scored his first goal of the 2022-2023 campaign during United’s 2-0 win over Sheriff
The penalty marked Ronaldo’s first goal of the season and his 699th career club goal
However, Ronaldo was visibly frustrated during United’s Europa League tie with Sheriff and let his emotions bubble over during the half-time break.
A fan – who was also part of the medical staff at the Zimbru Stadium – reached out to ask Ronaldo if he would stop to take a photo as he walked off the pitch.
The 37-year-old barely even glanced at the woman before pushing her outreached arm away and storming down the tunnel.
Ronaldo was also involved in a similar incident with a ball-boy after the final whistle was blown at the Zimbru Stadium.
However, Ronaldo was in no mood for a picture with a fan as he left the pitch at half-time
The woman, who was part of the medical staff, was left stunned as her request was ignored
The ball-boy ran up to Ronaldo and attempted to take a picture with the star before being escorted away.
The Manchester United striker was seen gesturing for the boy to leave him alone before walking away.
This is not the first time Ronaldo has let his frustration out on a fan who was trying to take a selfie.
Ronaldo received backlash last term when he was filmed appearing to slap a phone out of the hands of a 14-year-old boy after United lost to Everton at Goodison Park.
The forward apologised afterwards but was interviewed by police in relation to alleged assault and criminal damage and received a caution.
Ronaldo appeared to slap a phone out of the hands of a 14-year-old boy at Everton last season
The child’s mother declined the opportunity to meet Ronaldo and branded him ‘arrogant’ after speaking to the Portuguese international on the phone.
Nevertheless, Ronaldo will have been pleased to have scored his first goal of the 2022-2023 campaign during United’s triumph over Sheriff.
The 37-year-old scored from the penalty spot after Diogo Dalot was fouled by Patrick Kpozo inside the box.
Ronaldo looked nervous before stepping up to take the penalty but fired the ball straight down the middle to register his 699th career club goal.
Ronaldo previously wore shin pads with a picture of his face next to the crest of the Portugal national team. They also displayed images of his four children
Ronaldo was substituted later in the game and was pictured taking off his personalised shin pads – which appeared to have pictures of his family on.
This is not the first time the camera’s have caught a glimpse of Ronaldo’s shin pads. The striker was seen kissing his personalised shin pads multiple times before stuffing them into his socks ahead of United’s clash with Burnley last season.
Ronaldo’s shin pads appeared to have a picture of his face next to the crest of the Portugal national team. They also displayed images of his four children.