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Solskjaer defends signing Ronaldo but felt ‘sad’ over ‘sour’ end to Ronaldo’s Man Utd career

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes he made the ‘right decision’ when re-signing Cristiano Ronaldo for Manchester United in 2021.

Cristiano Ronaldo returned to Old Trafford in the summer of 2021, 12 years after his initial departure to Real Madrid, while Solskjaer was in charge of United.

Ronaldo scored two goals in his first match and 24 goals in all competitions in the 2021-2022 season. However, Man United struggled on the pitch and Solskjaer was sacked three months after Ronaldo’s arrival.

During an event with fans in India, Solskjaer defended the decision to sign Ronaldo from Juventus.

“Cristiano wanted to leave Juventus but we didn’t think it was possible to bring him back. We had built a squad without Cristiano,” Solskjaer said, as per Times of India. “And then when this opportunity came, I think everyone in the world thought it’s going to be fantastic. And he had a good season. I think he scored 28 goals. I love Cristiano’s professional attitude. But it didn’t work out for him. It didn’t work out for me. It didn’t work out for the team, unfortunately. But at that moment, it was the right decision to welcome him back to Old Trafford. That’s life. We made a decision.”

Former Man United coach, who had played alongside Ronaldo during the Portuguese star’s first stint at the club, praised his dedication and work ethic.

“He was always the first one on the training ground and the last one to leave,” Solskjaer said. “He set a great example for the younger players. He’s a top professional. And it was a pleasure to work with him.”

Solskjaer also admitted he felt “sad” when Ronaldo’s Manchester United career ended on a “sour” note in 2022.

Manchester United legend added: “His first outing on return was against Newcastle. I think there have not been many days at Old Trafford that have seen a better vibe. And it was an unbelievable thing. So, it’s about giving people memories. That’s a memory for everyone who was there, and that he came back after having been the best player in the world for so many years.

“So, unfortunately, after I left, it turned sour with Cristiano. It was sad to see from the outside.”

Sam Barton
Sam Barton
Sam Barton fell in love with football during the 98 World Cup and has been fascinated by it ever since. The tactical side of the game is what truly inspires him to think, read and write about football, making him the ideal football writer.
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