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Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer rubbishes 'negative' Cristiano Ronaldo claims

Cristiano Ronaldo
(Image credit: PA)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has rubbished suggestions that Cristiano Ronaldo has made Manchester United a worse team.

The Portugal international returned to Old Trafford on transfer deadline day in August in a £12.85m move from Juventus.

He has scored nine goals in 11 appearances in all competitions so far, including a brace against Atalanta on Tuesday.

Ronaldo's strikes rescued a point for United and kept them on top of Champions League Group F with two games remaining.

However, Solskjaer's side are fifth in the Premier League and could fall 11 points adrift of top spot if results go against them this weekend.

Ronaldo has been criticised for a lack of pressing, while his presence up top has necessitated the exclusion of Mason Greenwood and Jadon Sancho in recent matches.

But Solskjaer has hit back at the critics of the 36-year-old, who could start alongside Edinson Cavani when Manchester City visit the Etihad in Saturday's early kick-off.

"He’s one of the best players that’s ever walked on the planet," the Norwegian told reporters.

“His impact on and off the pitch has been absolutely immense, the goals he scores, the way he conducts himself in and around the place, so how people can say it’s a negative, I can’t see it.

“Really, really pleased he started off as well as he has but that’s what he does, he scores goals, he works for his team, he’s a top, top professional.”

Solskjaer also stated his belief that Manchester United remain the top team in the city - and even further afield.

"No, I can't," he replied when asked if he could imagine City overtaking United. 

"But, the thing is, you have to have respect for what they have done in the last 10 years or even more so in the last four or five with how dominant they have been in England and in Europe.

"But we are Man United, we are always going to come back, I think we are the number one club in Manchester and that also probably means in the world."

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