Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has claimed that striker Cristiano Ronaldo is completely committed to the project on offer at Old Trafford.
Ronaldo tried and failed to leave the club this summer, citing a lack of Champions League football as the reason for his exit wish, and he has since been playing catch-up to his teammates when it comes to fitness.
His start against Sheriff in the Europa League on Thursday was just his third in all competitions so far, and he opened his account for the Ten Hag era with a penalty that secured a 2-0 victory.
Ten Hag has vowed to work with Ronaldo to get him up to speed after his shortened pre-season and was full of praise for the 37-year-old after his impactful display against Sheriff.
“He is really close, when he gets more fitness he will score more,” the boss said of Ronaldo.
“He’s totally committed to this project, totally involved, he also has connections that are coming around him [on the pitch] and he is constructing connections so I’m happy with that.”
Later, Ten Hag confessed that scoring his first goal of the campaign could have a significant impact on Ronaldo’s return to form.
“Ronaldo needed that goal,” Ten Hag told MUTV.
“Many times he came close, but he wanted that so much,. We are happy for him and the team wanted to bring him a goal.
“You know that Cristiano will score a penalty.”