Manchester United captain Harry Maguire says that Cristiano Ronaldo will have just as much impact off the pitch as he will on it.
The 36-year-old former United star re-signed for the club last Friday. Following a stunning first spell at Old Trafford, he became the world’s most expensive player with a move to Real Madrid. However, he did not look back and became Los Blancos’ club-record goalscorer. While he impressed at Juventus, he decided to move on.
As such, the search began for his next team. Manchester City led the race and looked the favourites to land the Portugal international for some time.
However, interventions from Sir Alex Ferguson – to whom Ronaldo has now paid tribute – and Bruno Fernandes proved crucial in him choosing to move back to the Red Devils.
Speaking to The Independent, defender Maguire hailed United for getting the deal done. He also insisted that Ronaldo’s stature in the game can prove beneficial off the pitch.
“It’s amazing,” the 28-year-old said. “Obviously I’m away with England at the moment so my focus is on the game tomorrow but for him to sign back for the club [is amazing].
“For me, the greatest player to play the game.
“It’s amazing to have him at the club. I’m sure he’s going to have a big impact on and off the field and many players can look and learn and improve.
“Obviously he’s going to improve our team as well with his goalscoring record. It’s amazing to have him at the club. I’m looking forward to meeting him in a few days.”
Ronaldo will likely have a big impact upon younger forwards Marcus Rashford, 23, and 19-year-old Mason Greenwood. That is despite Greenwood already being hailed as arguably the best finisher at the club before Ronaldo’s arrival.
Maguire warns of England test
Maguire is currently on international duty preparing for England’s World Cup qualifier against Hungary on Thursday.
“We’ve spoke about it and we need to be ready because we know it is going to be a tough test against Hungary,” he said.
“If we’re not ready mentally, we won’t perform to our best and we won’t get the result that we need.
“Of course the mentality of the squad will be tested and we need to overcome that and show what we’re about.”
The fixture represents England’s first since they suffered penalty heartbreak in the Euro 2020 final against Italy.