Cristiano Ronaldo started out as a winger but morphed into a centre-forward at Real Madrid, after losing half a yard of pace but improving his anticipation skills
Much was made of the position Cristiano Ronaldo would play for Manchester United when he made his fairytale return to Old Trafford last month.
Back in the day, the Portugual international played on the wing for the Red Devils, where he would regularly take on and beat opponents with his blistering speed and unmatched skill.
Later on in his career at Real Madrid, Ronaldo morphed into a centre-forward.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner had lost half a yard of pace but improved his skills in anticipation, making him the perfect fox in the box.
When Ronaldo moved to Juventus, the Serie A giants wanted him to play up top but it seems the Portuguese forward had other ideas.
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Ronaldo liked the idea of playing on the wing once more, and there was something of a clash of wills in Turin over the past two seasons.
Talk of what position Ronaldo would play for United began in Italy, with Paulo Di Canio suggesting the Portuguese forward and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would be at odds.
Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport’s In The Box podcast, Di Canio said: “Ronaldo will improve the technical level, but he joins a team with many strikers and wingers.
“Solskjaer said he sees him as a centre-forward, but Ronaldo didn’t want to do it at Juventus.
“I still see him starting on the left, but United have other players in the same position, including Sancho, who was paid €85million, but has been struggling to settle in so far.”
Ronaldo made his second Man United debut on the weekend, where he played up top and netted a brace in a 4-1 win over Newcastle.
After the match, former Juve midfielder and Sky Sport pundit Giancarlo Marocchi said: “I noticed he played a centre-forward yesterday, which is something he refused to do when he was at Juventus.”
Ronaldo always looked certain to play up front for the Red Devils this season, especially after United splashed out £73million on Jadon Sancho.
And the fact Ronaldo put in a man of the match performance against the Magpies suggests he’ll not only stay there but that he wants to be there.
Ronaldo made it clear he has aspirations to win the Premier League title this season and believes bagging goals up front gives United the best chance of doing this.
His willingness to play where Solskjaer needs him and to give a 100 per cent shows he’s desperate to bring United success.