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Cristiano Ronaldo Cannot Play High Energy Football, He’s 37 Years Old, Former England Striker Says
Darren Bent, a former England and Aston Villa striker, is adamant that Cristiano Ronaldo does not play in Erik ten Hag’s system at Manchester United.
Ronaldo came off the bench in the 86th minute of Manchester United’s 2-1 victory over Liverpool at Old Trafford after playing the full 90 minutes in a 4-0 loss to Brentford.
Speaking on Talksport, Bent questioned the 37-year-old veteran’s suitability for the Dutchman’s high-energy, high-octane, intense pressing system.
‘There were notable standout performers, the two centre halves defended well, the front three. And I get it – a lot of people say “How can you not play Ronaldo in this team?”.
‘I think if (Erik) ten Hag wants to play that high-energy, high-pressing, all-guns-blazing (style), unfortunately you can’t play Ronaldo. That’s no slight on Ronaldo, you’re talking about one of the greatest players you’ve ever seen.
‘But in that system… he’s 37 years old. Look at the energy of (Anthony) Elanga, (Marcus) Rashford. That’s when Rashford is at his best. Stop trying to complicate it by dropping off and trying to show everyone you’re a good player, by linking play…
‘No. His best attribute is his pace. When he starts running in behind regularly, he gives defenders nightmares. For his goal (against Liverpool), fantastic finish, composure, that’s where he was at his best.’