Cristiano Ronaldo can never be considered the “problem” for Manchester United, with Alan Shearer pointing to why he’s a help not a hindrance to Ralf Rangnick’s side.
Ronaldo became the highest ever scorer in the men’s game as he took his goal tally to 807 with a brilliant hat-trick in the see-saw 3-2 Premier League victory over Antonio Conte’s men at Old Trafford. It was also the Portugal international’s 59th career hat-trick and the perfect way to silence his critics.
Ronaldo missed the 4-1 hammering at Manchester City last weekend with a hip injury and decided to head home to Portugal.
However, it’s claimed he didn’t let Manchester United know of his intention to return home. That left interim boss Rangnick in the dark. That said, the German had reportedly asked Ronaldo to start on the bench anyway.
Ronaldo was clearly fired up though upon his return. And his Old Trafford hat-trick certainly impressed the often grumpy Roy Keane, who applauded the attacker’s efforts.
Despite scoring 15 goals in 31 appearances for United this season prior to the Spurs game, there are some who theorise that Ronaldo is a ‘problem player’ for United.
His apparent inability to track back is not entirely suited to the high-energy, intensive football Rangnick wants to employ.
‘Ronaldo not the problem’
However, Match of the Day pundit Shearer has moved to debunk that theory. And the Premier League’s all-time record goalscorer claims Ronaldo has proven why he’s definitely not the problem in this United side.
“There are some people who think Cristiano Ronaldo is a problem for Manchester United, but god knows where they would be without him,” he wrote in his BBC Sport column.
“I said a few weeks ago that, if it wasn’t for Ronaldo, United would be far worse off than they are. And Saturday’s game against Tottenham summed up why in a nutshell.
Ronaldo frustrated at Manchester United and looking for new club this summer
Cristiano Ronaldo is reportedly very unhappy at Manchester United as is looking for a new club with Juventus and Real Madrid returns not possible
“He was quite simply the only reason they beat Spurs. His hat-trick was phenomenal and his overall performance was so good, it was staggering.
“It was no surprise to me because he has been doing this for years and years now. He has 59 hat-tricks, which is just ridiculous – but this was some response to his critics. All three of his goals were special in their own way.”
Pogba comes out fighting for Cristiano Ronaldo
Shearer is not the only one who has come out fighting for Ronaldo.
Indeed, his teammate Paul Pogba insists his United teammates should do all they can to support him. Pogba himself is someone who has come under fire at times too.
And he knows that United are better off for having the Portuguese superstar in their ranks.
“We hurt them at the right times and Ronaldo did what he does best,” the midfielder told BBC Sport. “He [Ronaldo] has never been a problem.
“You have the best striker in history in our team, he cannot be a problem. Today the performance from him and all the team was very brilliant.”