EPL

Ronaldo can play into his 40s, says Man Utd boss Solskjaer

By Sports Desk September 24, 2021

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Red Devils superstar Cristiano Ronaldo can play football into his 40s.

Ronaldo returned to Premier League giants United before the transfer window closed and the evergreen 36-year-old has scored four goals in his first three matches back at the club.

As Ronaldo continues to defy his age, Solskjaer does not anticipate the five-time Ballon d'Or winner slowing down any time soon.

"I wouldn't be surprised if he was still playing at 40, not at all," Solskjaer told reporters ahead of Saturday's clash with Aston Villa.

"The way he looks after himself, that's the key, that's the key to it all and, of course, some genes. There must be some genes in there! He has put every single ounce of energy and effort into becoming the player he is.

"He deserves every single plaudit that he gets for first, his own physical state but, even more impressively, when you have achieved as much as he has. He is still just as hungry as ever.

"His mentality is still absolutely spot on and that's just desire from inside of him and he's going to keep going until his legs or even his head say no that's it, I've given everything now."

United – level with Chelsea and Liverpool atop the Premier League – have won 18 of their last 21 home league games against Villa (D2 L1), failing to score on just one occasion in that run.

In Premier League history, no side has won more games against an opponent than United's 37 victories against Villa.

Since a goalless draw with Manchester City last December, United have scored in each of their last 15 Premier League home games (44 goals in total). However, Solskjaer's men have also conceded in each of their last seven league games at Old Trafford, last having a longer top-flight home run without a clean sheet in February 1972 (8 games).

United are the highest scorers in the Premier League so far this season with 13 goals. With an expected goals total of eight, the Manchester outfit are also overperforming their xG more than any other side this season (five goals more).

Related items

  • Nagelsmann warns Kimmich there are 'easier interview topics' after midfielder's COVID-19 vaccination admission Nagelsmann warns Kimmich there are 'easier interview topics' after midfielder's COVID-19 vaccination admission

    Julian Nagelsmann revealed he contacted Joshua Kimmich after the Germany midfielder hit the headlines as he admitted he had not been vaccinated for COVID-19.

    Bayern Munich, who are preparing to face Borussia Monchengladbach in the DFB-Pokal second round, have been without Nagelsmann after the former RB Leipzig head coach tested positive for coronavirus.

    However, it was Kimmich who was the main point of interest after Bayern defeated Hoffenheim 4-0 as the 26-year-old explained he had not been vaccinated because he wanted further research to be conducted first.

    Former Bayern president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was quick to assure Kimmich should do the responsible thing and get vaccinated, though Nagelsmann attempted to put an end to the saga at Tuesday's pre-match news conference.

    "A lot of topics are often chewed through," Nagelsmann told reporters from his home during his virtual conference. "It is important that there is an exchange of views. Everyone then has to decide for themselves whether they have to give their mustard to everything.

    "There are experts, they should express their opinion. Whether the federal government has to do that now, it has to know for itself. I am happy when everyone can concentrate on their job again."

    Nagelsmann, who has been operating from his homemade "data centre", then revealed he had contacted Kimmich to discuss the interview while admitting it was up to the individual whether they should get vaccinated or not.

    "I wrote to him after the interview," he continued. "I told him that there are certainly easier interview topics. That is the price you pay when you are in public.

    "Enough has been said about it now. I also gave my opinion of what I thought about the vaccination – I now know how the symptoms progress.

    "From this and in exchange with doctors I also noticed that the disease behaves differently after the vaccination. Nevertheless, it is up to you to decide whether he can be vaccinated."

    Nagelsmann will not be fit enough to return for the visit to Gladbach, though he could return against Union Berlin on Saturday.

    His side have won all three games in his absence, dispatching Leverkusen, Benfica and Hoffenheim by an aggregate score of 13-1.

    However, the 34-year-old revealed he finds comments that Bayern do not need a coach in his absence disrespectful, pointing towards the crucial interventions that are sometimes required on the touchline.

    "The team is very good, no question about it," he added.

    "I also have a very well-functioning coaching team. They are a tight-knit bunch, and we know each other very well.

    "But I don't lie around at home and don't work on anything. I think it is sometimes a bit disrespectful when you claim that the team doesn't need a coach. There are always moments when you should intervene."

  • Dybala and Chiesa to start Juve's next match as Allegri accepts he 'got it wrong' against Inter Dybala and Chiesa to start Juve's next match as Allegri accepts he 'got it wrong' against Inter

    Paulo Dybala and Federico Chiesa will start Juventus' Serie A clash with Sassuolo after Massimiliano Allegri accepted he made a mistake with his team selection against Inter.

    Allegri introduced Dybala and Chiesa from the substitutes' bench with Juve trailing in Sunday's match at San Siro, and the former netted a late penalty to rescue a 1-1 draw.

    Despite only being brought on in the 65th minute, Dybala led the way among Juventus players for shots (four), shots on target (two) and big chances created (two).

    The Argentina international, who was returning from a four-game injury lay-off, has been directly involved in more goals (six) than any team-mate in all competitions this term.

    Chiesa's 12 chances created this term, meanwhile, has been bettered by only Alvaro Morata (13) and Juan Cuadrado (15).

    Juventus head coach Allegri explained the decision to overlook the pair for Derby d'Italia selection was down to fitness issues, with both set to be recalled against Sassuolo on Wednesday.

    "Paulo and Chiesa will play, so everybody is happy. You write and I make you happy," Allegri, who was criticised for his team selection, said at his pre-match news conference.

    "Dybala has important technical qualities. He is different from [Dejan] Kulusevski, but Kulusevski played a good game in Milan in the first 60 minutes.

    "Chiesa is a top player. He's played many games already. On Sunday, I was wrong, but I had read the game in a different way, with Kulusevski man-marking [Marcelo] Brozovic.

    "It's not a problem if a player starts on the bench, there are many games. Chiesa didn't drop to the bench because he deserved it. I had read the game in a certain way.

    "Eventually, when he was introduced, we needed more quality and he had a great impact.

    "Federico is a reference point for the national team and Juventus, but if I use the same players all the time, I'll need 20 new players in January.

    "We hope we’ll play 57 games this season and sometimes players must rest. They can benefit from it, physically and mentally."

    Allegri also confirmed Adrien Rabiot is back and available, but Moise Kean and Federico Bernardeschi are ruled out for the visit of Sassuolo to Allianz Stadium.

    Juve have taken 13 points from their last five Serie A matches – only Milan (15) are in better form – but they still sit down in sixth after a poor start to Allegri's second tenure.

    The Bianconeri trailed leaders Napoli by 10 points heading into the weekend games, while Inter were also seven points off top spot, but Allegri still rates the defending champions as favourites to win the Scudetto.

    "[Simone] Inzaghi won't admit it, but Inter are the favourites to win Serie A," Allegri said. "Anything can happen in football, but they remain the favourites.

    "We had a bad start, so there is no room for mistakes. The draw against Inter is important, but only if we win tomorrow."

    Juventus have lost only one of their 16 Serie A matches against 13th-place Sassuolo (W12 D3) – a 1-0 defeat in October 2015 via a Nicola Sansone goal.

  • Walter Smith dies: Ferguson, McCoist and Dalglish lead tributes to former Rangers and Scotland boss Walter Smith dies: Ferguson, McCoist and Dalglish lead tributes to former Rangers and Scotland boss
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.