Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo will be hoping to continue his good record against Thiago Silva but comments made by the Chelsea defender previously suggests he certainly does not fear the five-time Ballon d’Or winner
Silva, a key part of a Chelsea back line which has shipped just four goals in 12 league games, is set to be his marker, having met five times down the years for club and country.
The ex- Paris Saint-Germain defender has been on the winning side just once but put Ronaldo down in 2018 when comparing him to rival Lionel Messi, as he discussed which footballing great was tougher to play against.
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“The small difference is that Messi, with the ball in a one-on-one or a two-on-one, is difficult to stop,” the Brazilian explained to ESPN.
“With Ronaldo, I am not saying that it is easy, but one player can mark and the other can monitor – doing that gives you more security at the back.
“However, Messi and Ronaldo are both players capable of incredible things – like Neymar. I believe, though, that it is harder to defend against Messi than it is against Ronaldo.”
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Silva’s manager, Thomas Tuchel, warned his players not to underestimate any United’s players.
“I will never write anyone off, not in this league and not in this game,” Tuchel stated.
“It is a big club and a very experienced and top-level group of players. This is still the case and part of the performance from us on Sunday is to not let them perform.
“Once you let them perform, you can see in seconds and minutes the full potential and talent of these players at the highest level.”
United caretaker manager Michael Carrick had Ronaldo to thank for his first game in charge on Tuesday, a 2-0 win away to Villarreal as the Red Devils booked their place in the Champions League knockout stages.
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Carrick, who played with the Portuguese at Old Trafford for three seasons before Ronaldo left for Real Madrid in 2009, wasn’t surprised by his former team-mate’s impact.
“It’s what he does,” Carrick said post-match.
“In the big games, the big moments, when you need a goal or that something, he’s there to deliver.
“He has that cold, calculated mentality to stay calm. He doesn’t snatch at chances.
“I’m delighted to have him and not surprised at all he managed to come up with a goal for us.”