Ronaldo won't play every game, says Man Utd boss Solskjaer

Newcastle United

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insisted it is "not impossible" to leave out Cristiano Ronaldo as he said the superstar will not play every game this season following his stunning start to life back at Old Trafford.

Ronaldo enjoyed a remarkable second debut for United on Saturday, scoring two goals in their 4-1 Premier League rout of Newcastle United.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner, who was serenaded by fans before, during and after the match, completed a sensational return to United from Juventus last month after leaving the Red Devils for Real Madrid in 2009.

As United prepare to challenge on all fronts this season ahead of their Champions League opener at Young Boys on Tuesday, Solskjaer said the 36-year-old's minutes will be managed in 2021-22.

"It's not impossible to leave him out," Solskjaer said. "He is 36. Mason [Greenwood] is 19 so it's the same, I have to manage his minutes and I have to manage a 36-year-old's minutes as well.

"The other thing with Cristiano is that he looks after himself so much so I know he will recover quickly.

"Of course, it's important that we get everyone up and running and to get him up and running."

Ronaldo set a new record for the gap between two Premier League appearances (12 years, 118 days).

His brace against Newcastle came 12 years and 124 days after Ronaldo's last in the English top flight – only Matt Jackson (13 years, 187 days) has gone longer in Premier League history.

Ronaldo, at 36 years and 218 days, became the oldest player to score a double in a Premier League match since Graham Alexander for Burnley against Hull in April 2010. Alexander was 38 years and 182 days old.

The arrival of Ronaldo before the transfer deadline capped an impressive window for United, who also signed star defender Raphael Varane from Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho.

"The more quality you add to the group, the more healthy the competition [is] and [the more] leaders [there are] who they look up to," said Solskjaer.

"I think seeing Raphael and Cristiano coming has raised everyone's eyebrows because they are winners.

"They have won everything there is to win and they put demands on themselves which the young boys, the rest of the team, look at and think that is how you stay at the top. So it is only going to be good for everyone."


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