Ole Gunnar Solskjaer finally gives his honest take on signing Cristiano Ronaldo
‘When things didn’t go right, you could see certain egos came out.’
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted that signing Cristiano Ronaldo during his time as Manchester United manager “turned out wrong.”
In a wide-ranging interview with the Athletic, the former United striker and manager discussed his time in charge of the Red Devils from 2018 to 2021.
Addressing the three major signings that the club made in the summer of 2021 – Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane – Solskjaer said United had “gone strong by signing these players.”
Ronaldo in particular was a landmark signing, with the Portuguese striker returning to the club at a time when he was still considered by many to be one of the top two players in the world, alongside Lionel Messi.
He continued: “It was about taking the next step to challenge for the title. And, unfortunately, it just didn’t work out.”
Speaking about the Ronaldo signing in particular, and the idea that the striker had ‘ruined’ the United team, Solskjaer said: “It was a decision that was very difficult to turn down and I felt we had to take it, but it turned out wrong.
“It felt so right when he signed and the fans felt that at that Newcastle game when Old Trafford was rocking (after Ronaldo scored twice in a 4-1 win).
“He was still one of the best goalscorers in the world, he was looking strong.”
Solskjaer said that he told Rangnick his “opinion on every player” and that “things had soured, the collective had been lost.”
He continued: “Some players felt they should’ve played more and weren’t constructive to the environment. That’s a huge sin for me.”
In January 2023, he signed for the Saudi Arabian side Al Nassr.
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