Man Utd hero Rio Ferdinand wants two ‘weirdos’ and sets Cristiano Ronaldo goal target
Man Utd fans snap up Ronaldo shirts at Old Trafford
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Manchester United hero Rio Ferdinand has called on Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford to be ‘weirdos’ when it comes to learning from Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portugal international is poised to start up top against Newcastle today. And, ahead of his second debut at Old Trafford, his former team-mate has spoken out.
Manchester United confirmed Ronaldo’s return on deadline day, with the forward moving back to Old Trafford after 12 years away.
He’s now set to start against Newcastle today in the absence of Edinson Cavani, who isn’t in the squad.
And Ferdinand, speaking to the Daily Mail, has called on Greenwood and Rashford to make the most of learning from Ronaldo.
“If I’m Rashford and Greenwood, I’m the happiest kids on the planet right now,” he said.
“They have the opportunity to work with someone like Cristiano that you never thought would have been possible, someone ambitious and ridiculous.
“I think they have to be like sponges, they have to be students.
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“They have to watch him. I’d become obsessed with him if I was a kid there.
“It doesn’t matter what position you’re playing in but if you’re a striker, then you’re obsessed.
“I’d be watching him thinking ‘I’m a weirdo’ because you want to just know and see what he does to be the best and stay at the top there for so many years.”
Reflecting on Ronaldo’s first spell at the club, Ferdinand also admitted he gave them a scary edge to their attack.
“I felt that as a defender, as long as we kept a clean sheet, we would always have a chance because at some point in the game, he would get an opportunity and he scores,” he said.
“We always felt like that, we just had pure confidence.
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“They’ve got the opportunity to do that this season, with Ronaldo, with Greenwood, with Rashford, with (Edinson) Cavani, with Sancho, with (Bruno) Fernandes, with (Paul) Pogba.
“I’m reeling off a ridiculous amount of names. But behind that, the other players have to do their job.”
Ferdinand thinks that, with Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane on board, United can win the Premier League title.
“There’s good players all over the pitch, players can come in during certain games and do jobs,” he said.
“That’s what you want, especially in the back four.
“(Victor) Lindelof can come in for a game here or there, I’d be more than ok with that.
“(Diogo) Dalot’s staying at right-back, he had a good season with AC Milan. (Alex) Telles can come in for (Luke) Shaw, you’ve got back-ups everywhere.
“We’ve definitely got the personnel to challenge on all fronts and they’ve got the squad depth now.
“They’ve added one world class player (in Ronaldo) and another potentially world class player (in Sancho).
“They certainly have a better opportunity to challenge for the Champions League than they have done in recent years.”
And he also believes Ronaldo can score 30 goals this season.
“People keep saying, he’s not this, he’s not that – but he was top goalscorer in Serie A last season. Everyone saying he’s dropped in quality but he’s still better than everyone else,” he said.
“I expect him to be nearer 25 to 30 goals this season, at least in all competitions. If he doesn’t get to 30 I’ll be surprised.”
Ronaldo himself, meanwhile, has insisted he’s back at United to win trophies – rather than for a vacation.
“This is why I am here. I am not here for a vacation,” he told MUTV earlier this week.
“As I told you, before was good, winning important things and I wore the shirt before many years ago, but I am here to win again.
“I am capable, me and my team-mates. I am ready to go, I am ready to go. It is a good chance for me, for the supporters, for the club, to get one step ahead.
“I am ready and I think I will be a huge thing in the next three or four years.”
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