United legend urges young forwards to be ‘weirdos’ with CR7

Date published: Friday 10th September 2021 10:13 - Jason Soutar

Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has urged young forwards Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford to be ‘weirdos’ around new signing Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ronaldo returned to Old Trafford from Juventus in the summer transfer window, 12 years after he originally left the club for Real Madrid.

And his signing has raised a few questions over the progression of Greenwood and Rashford.

Big Weekend: Ronaldo, Leeds v Liverpool, Arteta, Leicester

However, Ferdinand has dismissed any claims that the Portugal captain could hinder their development.

“If I’m Rashford and Greenwood, I’m the happiest kids on the planet right now,” he told Mail Online [Sportsmail].

“They have the opportunity to work with someone like Cristiano that you never thought would have been possible, someone ambitious and ridiculous.

“I think they have to be like sponges, they have to be students. They have to watch him. I’d become obsessed with him if I was a kid there.

“It doesn’t matter what position you’re playing in but if you’re a striker, then you’re obsessed. I’d be watching him thinking “I’m a weirdo” because you want to just know and see what he does to be the best and stay at the top there for so many years.”

He jokingly added: “I had Neil Ruddock. They get Cristiano Ronaldo and I get Neil Ruddock! Unbelievable.

“Neil’s a great guy but they’re different professionals, if you know what I mean.”

When asked about Ronaldo’s influence during their time as teammates, Ferdinand said: “I felt that as a defender, as long as we kept a clean sheet, we would always have a chance because at some point in the game, he would get an opportunity and he scores. We always felt like that, we just had pure confidence.

“They’ve got the opportunity to do that this season, with Ronaldo, with Greenwood, with Rashford, with [Edinson] Cavani, with Sancho, with [Bruno] Fernandes, with [Paul] Pogba. I’m reeling off a ridiculous amount of names. But behind that, the other players have to do their job.”

The former defender also believes that Ronaldo will score around 30 goals this season for United:

“People keep saying, he’s not this, he’s not that – but he was top goalscorer in Serie A last season. Everyone saying he’s dropped in quality but he’s still better than everyone else.

“I expect him to be nearer 25 to 30 goals this season, at least in all competitions. If he doesn’t get to 30 I’ll be surprised.”


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