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Cristiano Ronaldo has finally ended the Lionel Messi debate back at Manchester United

Cristiano Ronaldo has never been a problem for Manchester United, but rather a solution. Erik ten Hag will require him next season.

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Consider this: in his first season back in England after a 12-year absence, Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 23 goals in 36 games, all of which have come in the Premier League and Champions League.

Ronaldo finished 2006-07, his first successful season at Manchester United, with 23 goals. Ronaldo needs four games to surpass his 2008-09 total of 26.

The tiresome Ronaldo-Messi discussion was put to rest a long time ago. Ronaldo has won all three major football leagues. Messi escaped across the border to join the Ligue 1 procession, where he has only scored nine goals for Paris Saint-Germain.

Ronaldo surpassed Messi years ago and did it again this summer, despite the fact that they were both on the move. Messi’s mask came off in Paris when he traded the purity of Barcelona for the Qatari product. Ronaldo accepted the challenge of making United a credible and competitive force.

Ronaldo was destined to be a success. United was improbable. In a season that began as a championship contender under the former Cardiff manager, United threw things off before Christmas by employing an interim who has decided to take a new position with a country that failed to qualify for the World Cup before the season concluded.

Despite the fact that this is the worst United team and season in recent memory, Ronaldo is the Premier League’s joint-second highest scorer alongside Heung-min Son, trailing just Mohamed Salah, the new FWA Player of the Year.

Ronaldo has eight goals in seven starts versus Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, and Arsenal. When Ronaldo has been missing, United has failed rather than prospered from Villa Park to Anfield, via the Etihad.

Young players at Manchester United are awestruck by Ronaldo, and even seasoned teammates like Jesse Lingard, 29, and Phil Jones, 30, ‘adore’ him, according to dressing room sources. In the aftermath of Liverpool’s 5-0 defeat in October, Ronaldo kept the squad together. His goals-against Tottenham and Atalanta in the following two games gave Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a stay of execution.

Ronaldo has been portrayed as a problem by the pseudo-intellectual and contrarian audiences. The idea that he had to adapt to the ways of Ralf Rangnick, a manager of 81 games in the decade preceding his arrival at United, was absurd. Rangnick is now so thankful to Ronaldo for saving him from a more embarrassing record that he has suggested he would be a valuable asset to Erik ten Hag, despite having misgivings about Ronaldo’s role at United next season.

Since Louis van Gaal’s slumbering reign, genuine United fans have shuddered at the notion of “philosophy,” and Rangnick has a cult following despite a lack of awards. Ajax, the club of Total Football and Johan Cruyff, arouses the romantic in football fans of a certain persuasion, and Ten Hag has rapidly been deified despite two Champions League group stage eliminations and a round-of-16 ejection by Benfica since the 2019 semi-final run.

Some are already questioning whether Ten Hag can accommodate Ronaldo as if Ten Hag is as revered or entitled as Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola. Ten Hag signed Sebastian Haller, a West Ham write-off who is now Ajax’s focal point.

If Chelsea had Ronaldo in their starting lineup on Thursday night, they would have blown United out. Ronaldo has more goals than Manchester City’s leading scorer, Riyad Mahrez, and more than anyone at Chelsea or Tottenham. Salah is the only Liverpool player to have scored more than Ronaldo.

United have won just 19 games this season, with Ronaldo scoring the game-winning goal in ten of them. Ronaldo, who is never a problem, is frequently a solution.

“‘He’s such an issue for Man United, scoring goals week in and week out, it’s not good,” Roy Keane remarked sarcastically.

With Edinson Cavani’s trips to his Montevideo getaway, Marcus Rashford’s futility, and Anthony Martial’s irrelevance, it’s a good thing United re-signed Ronaldo.

Ronaldo is the only outfield player at United who lives up to the standards banner shown at the Stretford End, which features Keane, Robson, and Cantona. Ten Hag must make a dash for him.

Just look at the facts.

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