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Cristiano Ronaldo’s comments on Man Utd captaincy speak volumes amid Harry Maguire threat | Football | Sport


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Manchester United have had Maguire as their captain ever since January 2020, when Ashley Young was allowed to leave for Inter Milan.

He’s been a key player at Old Trafford for the most part, earning Solskjaer’s trust as the club finished second and third in the Premier League table in 2020 and 2021 respectively.

But, last term, Maguire regressed.

The 29-year-old struggled and a chaotic campaign in Manchester, with the Red Devils leaking goals left, right and centre as they finished sixth in the table.

Now, it’s possible new boss Erik ten Hag will give the captaincy to somebody else as he looks to build a dynasty at his new employers.

Ronaldo would be among the frontrunners for the post and, in the past, has spoken about taking on the honour.

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He wore the armband as the Red Devils beat Bolton 2-0 in 2008, netting a brace as he moved Sir Alex Ferguson’s side closer to the Premier League title that year.

And, speaking afterwards, he admitted it would ‘always’ be good to wear the armband for such a prestigious club.

“It’s always good to be captain of this massive club,” said the Portugal international at the time.

“For me, it’s an honour, a pleasure.

“But my responsibility is still the same. Not because I’m captain do I change my game, my personality.”

Ferguson, though, insisted in 2008 that the captaincy wasn’t a big deal during his stint at Old Trafford.


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“We don’t make a meal of the captaincy or a big issue of it,” he said.

“But Cristiano looks for that kind of responsibility and is very comfortable with it.

“He practices his free kicks. He has a technique but the practise thing is the most important in terms of getting shots on target.

“With free kicks if you get the shot on target that’s one thing, the bonus is can you score? And it was a bonus tonight.

“The important thing was we had the opportunity and the incentive to get three points clear of Arsenal our nearest pursuer and we have done that.

“It wasn’t a great performance but we made a lot of changes and that was necessary because with Rio Ferdinand (back strain) doubtful for Sunday I had to find out about young Gerard Pique.

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“We have great confidence in the lad and he has come through it very well and that was important.”

Ronaldo’s comments suggest he’s unbothered about the captaincy.

But he could feel differently in private, especially given his status as one of the biggest players on the planet.

It also speaks volumes that Ronaldo revealed he wouldn’t change if he takes the honour, with the veteran very much content with his current game.

As for Maguire, journalist Fabrizio Romano has claimed the 29-year-old is ‘calm’ amid claims he could lose the armband.

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“Erik ten Hag will speak to individual players and there will be a decision on Man United captain in the coming days or weeks,” he said.

“At the moment, I understand that Harry Maguire is very calm and not worried about Ten Hag’s decision, which would eventually be part of the start of a new technical project.

“Personally, I believe that Cristiano Ronaldo with his leadership can be an excellent captain but the internal decisions on these topics arise from many evaluations: I am sure that Ten Hag will be able to make the best choice.”

Other potential captains for United include Bruno Fernandes and David De Gea.

Fernandes has been a vocal figure at the club since his arrival from Sporting Lisbon in January 2020, while De Gea is a loyal asset having been on the Red Devils’ books for 11 years. 

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