Cristiano Ronaldo’s on-field influence has seen Man United climb to fourth in the table, on joint points with second-placed Man City, while his off-field behaviour has sparked discussion and change
Cristiano Ronaldo has hit the ground running at Manchester United.
The Portugal international forward has netted four in as many matches for the Red Devils and hasn’t missed a minute of Premier League game time since re-joining the club.
His on-field influence has seen Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Red Devils climb to fourth in the table, on joint points with second-placed Man City.
While the 36-year-old striker’s off-field behaviour has sparked discussion and change among his teammates.
For example, according to Man United keeper Lee Grant, Red Devils players have started skipping desserts at mealtimes on account of Ronaldo’s uber-healthy food choices.
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Grant told Talksport: “To give you one instance of the impact he is having on the group, this was Friday night in the hotel.
“So, as you guys will be aware, you finish your dinner and usually on a Friday night you’ve got some cheat stuff out. You’ve got some apple crumble and custard or you’ve got a bit of brownie and cream.
“I tell you now, not one player touched the apple crumble and custard, not one player went up for that brownie because everybody was sat down.
“One of the lads said to me, ‘What has Cristiano got on his plate?’ Obviously, it is the cleanest, most healthy plate you can imagine.”
But not everyone is on board with Ronaldo’s choice of grub, and many are against the idea of eating octopus, despite the striker reportedly making a special request to the chef to have it included on the menu.
A source told The Sun: “He also loves octopus, but most of the lads won’t go there – even if it clearly works for Ronny!
“Cristiano is very much into his proteins, stuff like slices of ham, eggs and avocados, and the chefs are trying to help him with a little taste of home.”
Ronaldo is a confident character and Solskjaer knew one of his hardest jobs was going to be keeping all the egos in check in the dressing room after signing the five-time Ballon d’Or winner in the summer window.
United already boast the likes of Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes and Edinson Cavani, and with Ronaldo in the mix, there are now a large number of big personalities to control.
One man who doesn’t believe this should be a major issue is former Man United forward Dimitar Berbatov, who says that while there may be some differences in the changing room, ultimately everyone is working towards the same goal.
“There is always a danger when you have big personalities and big egos in the team and this is the case for the manager to control the dressing room, but also for the players to know how to behave and speak with one another and to have respect,” Berbatov told Mirror Football.
“Don’t forget, the common goal is to do everything you can for the team to win.
“In the dressing room you can’t love everybody, not everybody is going to love you, but when you step onto the pitch or turn up at a training session, the one goal is the betterment of the team.
“You’re going to argue, you’re going to fight, it doesn’t matter. When you’re on the pitch you need to be winners and fight for the team.
“In football, there is a hierarchy when someone like Ronaldo comes into the team you give him the respect he deserves because it is all there, all that he has achieved, and I think it’s up to him to speak to the players and give them advice and help them develop.”