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Cristiano Ronaldo has lost ‘power and strength’, claims Graeme Souness


Cristiano Ronaldo turns 37 in February (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Cristiano Ronaldo is no longer the player he once was because he’s lost the ‘power and strength’ that made him the world’s best.

That’s the view of Liverpool legend Graeme Souness, who believes United are beholden to Ronaldo because of his previous achievements in the game.

Ronaldo rejoined the Red Devils last summer from Juventus and his scoring record since returning has been impressive, with the 36-year-old netting ten times in 14 appearances this term.

However, United’s displays have been well below-par and Ronaldo has been partly blamed for that as he is unable to adopt a high press and is regularly bottom for distance covered in the starting XI.

And while Souness admits he still would have signed Ronaldo, he feels United haven’t had an ‘honest’ conversation with the striker and that he has to accept he’s not the player he once was.

Ronaldo has 10 goals in 14 appearances this term (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

‘I’d have taken Cristiano Ronaldo all day long, but I’d also have had a honest conversation with him: “You’ll get plenty of game time, but you won’t be starting every game.” Souness told the Times.

‘I still can’t think of a better impact sub, but he’s no longer the player he was — you just can’t be at 36. He may look magnificent when he takes his top off, but you lose power and strength.

‘I’d also have said: “I’m looking for you to teach these young guys about turning up on time, looking after yourself and training properly, to be the example that takes this club back to greatness.”

‘He can still give you all that, but he’s not going to be the go-to man every Saturday, certainly not against the stronger sides. Against Liverpool and Manchester City, he never got a kick because he’s playing with ordinary footballers.’

United take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge today and Michael Carrick will be in charge for what could be the final time.

The Red Devils expect to announce Ralf Rangnick as their new interim manager this week.

The German will then take on a club elsewhere in the club for two years once United appoint a long-term successor for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.


MORE : Man City hero Ilkay Gundogan names Chelsea star N’Golo Kante as his toughest ever opponent

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