If Michael Carrick’s earlier comments on Cristiano Ronaldo are any indication, he will draw on his former teammate’s experience in the Manchester United locker room.
Carrick, the new United caretaker manager, played with Ronaldo in Manchester for three seasons before the Portuguese went to Real Madrid in 2009, winning the Premier League title in each of those three seasons.
Carrick made the transition from young squad member to experienced professional at United after joining from Tottenham in 2006, and the 36-year-old Ronaldo now holds the same position following his return to the club in the summer.
Following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s resignation as United manager on Sunday, Carrick has taken over on a temporary basis, and in a 2019 interview, he detailed how Ronaldo progressed through the United locker room after arriving as a teenager in 2003.
“All those great players from the past weren’t ready-made by any stretch,” Carrick said of United’s current young players in an interview with the Mail Online.
“We have the league’s youngest team, and they need some supervision and assistance.”
“However, when I was younger, I was one of them.” One of them was Giggsy (Ryan Giggs), while another was Scholesy (Paul Scholes). They had to learn from their mistakes and grow as a result.
“You learn from your mistakes and from your victories, but everyone has to start somewhere.”
Cristiano Ronaldo is a good example. He needed a year or two to settle in before suddenly finding his feet and exploding.”
Carrick will be hoping that Ronaldo can assist United’s young players, starting with Tuesday’s Champions League match against Villarreal.
On Monday, the Portuguese paid tribute to Solskjaer with an Instagram post in which he reflected on his time as a teammate and boss with the Norwegian.
“When I initially came to Old Trafford, he was my striker, and he’s been my coach since I returned to Man United,” he added.
“But above all, Ole is a remarkable human being.” I wish him all the best in whatever his future holds.
“Wishing you the best of luck, my buddy!” You’ve earned it!”
Solskjaer spoke to United’s club media after being fired on Sunday, and he endorsed Carrick to succeed him right away.
“Trust yourselves, you know we’re better than this,” he stated ahead of the trip to Villarreal, “as I’ve spoken to them this morning as well.”
“We haven’t been able to show it, but go out, put your chest out, and enjoy being a Manchester United player in the Champions League, on the grandest platform.”
“If you win the game, you advance to the next round, and Michael will be in control.”
“I have the utmost regard for Michael, and I adore Michael.” Because he’s the best, I’m getting emotional. They’re going to be OK. I’ll keep an eye on them and offer my support.”