Star striker Cristiano Ronaldo broke his silence on the new manager, insisting that he is still happy at Manchester United and looking forward to working under Erik ten Hag.
The 37-year-old Ronaldo has caught the eye at Old Trafford even in a disappointing season, scoring 24 goals across all competitions and netting various individual awards including his fourth Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award.
In a video released by Manchester United, Ronaldo outlined his happiness and stressed Ten Hag needs time to implement the necessary changes to make the club a credible force again.
“I know he did a fantastic job for Ajax and that he’s an experienced coach but we need to give him time and things need to change the way he wants,” Ronaldo said.
He thanked the United supporters following his first season back at the club and promised the Red Devils will be back winning trophies before long.
“What I have to say to the fans is they are amazing. Even when you’ve lost the game, they always support us, they’re always with us. The supporters are always in my heart and it’s the people that all should respect because they are always on our side. For example the first game, of course, I not only felt it in the game but one day before in the hotel,” Ronaldo told Manchester United’s official website.
“I was a little bit nervous before, which is normal, but things are going well. I started the game, I scored two goals and it was very, very nice.”
It’s been another strong season for Ronaldo personally, despite United’s issues on the pitch. He set a new international goalscoring record the week after his transfer to the Red Devils was announced and is currently on an astonishing 115 goals for Portugal. In December, he scored against Arsenal to pass 800 career goals, and then, on his way to a hat-trick versus Tottenham in March, he surpassed Josef Bican as FIFA’s all-time record goalscorer in competitive matches.
The 37-year-old has been used to set such incredible numbers during his career, but now he’s fixed his sights on adding to the silverware he collected during his first spell at United, between 2003 and 2009.
“The records (are) coming in a natural way,” he added. “I don’t follow the records, but the records follow me so it’s good. It’s still my motivation to carry on working hard, to still love the passion for the game, and of course, Manchester and my teammates help me all the way so I have to appreciate all the people who help me,” he said.