Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 1 free kick and missed 4 penalties in 3 years at Juventus. What to do Manchester United

On September 5, the Sky Sports contributors outlined the success criteria for Manchester United’s new roster. Jamie Carragher was waiting for the championship, Jamie Redknapp was looking forward to the sleepless nights of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. All because of Cristiano Ronaldo, who suddenly returned to Old Trafford.

The Portuguese posed a key challenge in Solskjaer’s coaching career: Ole Gunnar must figure out how to integrate Ronaldo into United in 2021. One aspect of adaptation is standards. Whether Cristiano will get free kicks and penalties is the intrigue of September.

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Championship of England

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During his time at Juventus, Ronaldo shot 52 direct shots from free throws. Only one was transformed into a goal. At the same time, Cristiano almost does not create: the Portuguese issued only two assists under attack from the set during the three-year segment in Turin. For comparison, in one and a half English seasons, Bruno threw 4.

Also Massimiliano Allegri, Maurizio Sarri and Andrea Pirlo trusted Ronaldo 11-meters. Since 2018, Cristiano has received 27 penalties, 23 of which have been sent to the goal. Over the past three seasons at Real, the Portuguese has produced more modest numbers: 15 goals after 21 shots from the spot.

Ronaldo’s main rival in the battle for standards will be compatriot Bruno Fernandes. For a season and a half in Manchester, the playmaker presented the playmaker with 13 penalties after 14 attempts. The ex-Sporting midfielder also struck 23 direct shots from free throws – however, only one hit the net, like Cristiano in Juve.

Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba will also compete for a penalty kick at United. Since the 2018/19 season, the British striker has scored six goals from a spot after eight attempts. The Frenchman gave seven out of 11. Only the forward and midfielder will not help with free kicks: the first scored one goal from 33 direct shots, the other – 0 out of eight.

The crumbs behind the stars will be picked up by Fred and Juan Mata. Since the 2018/19 campaign, the Brazilian has fielded four straight hits from set pieces, the Spaniard added five (one successful) and an accurate penalty. The ex-midfielders of Shakhtar and Chelsea haven’t even come close to the leaders of Manchester United in terms of free throw and spot loads. They will probably lose their chances in small cup matches.

The main question is which of the Ronaldo-Fernandes pair will become the main performer of the standards and whether Rashford and Pogba will compete with the Portuguese. At PSG, penalties and free throws can be a tool for dealing with stellar egos. At United, the situation is different.

Ronaldo, who definitely claims to be the standards, downgraded the quality of the direct shots. Bruno was not far away, but when evaluating him, one must take into account: Cristiano gave out one ball in three seasons, and Fernandes – only one and a half. Resigningly to give free kicks and penalties to the legend of the 00s and 10s will be weak in character.

One of Solskjaer’s short-term goals is to convince Ronaldo that United have better set performers. The share of Bruno, Rashford and Pogba in free kicks should not decrease. Cristiano will definitely get a part – that’s okay. But you cannot cut off other stars for the sake of the Portuguese.

All figures are from UnderStat and refer to championships.

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