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Erik ten Hag believes Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal-scoring prowess will return once his fitness improves

Erik ten Hag claims Cristiano Ronaldo’s scoring ability will return once his fitness improves… and praises the striker for his ‘connections’ during Man United’s Europa League triumph in Moldova

  • Man United defeated Sheriff Tiraspol 2-0 in their Europa League game on Thursday
  • Cristiano Ronaldo scored the second goal of the game from the penalty spot
  • It marked Ronaldo’s first goal of the season and his 699th club goal of his career
  • Erik ten Hag has supported Ronaldo to score more goals as he gets fitter
  • The manager also praised Ronaldo for building connections on the pitch
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Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has backed Cristiano Ronaldo to score ‘more goals’ once his condition improves.

Ronaldo scored his first goal of the 2022-2023 season in United’s 2-0 win over Sheriff Tiraspol on Thursday night.

However, Ronaldo still cut a frustrated figure during United’s Europa League game and found himself lashing out at his fans.

Erik ten Hag has supported Cristiano Ronaldo to score 'more goals' as soon as his condition improves
Erik ten Hag has supported Cristiano Ronaldo to score 'more goals' as soon as his condition improves

Erik ten Hag has supported Cristiano Ronaldo to score ‘more goals’ as soon as his condition improves

After the game, Ten Hag praised Ronaldo’s contribution and said the 37-year-old would score more goals if his condition improved.

The Manchester United manager said: ‘Hey [Ronaldo] is very close, if he gets more condition he will score more.

“He’s totally involved in this project, totally involved, he also has connections that come around him (on the pitch) and he’s making connections, so I’m happy about that.”

Ronaldo scored his first goal of the 2022-2023 season in United's 2-0 win over Sheriff
Ronaldo scored his first goal of the 2022-2023 season in United's 2-0 win over Sheriff

Ronaldo scored his first goal of the 2022-2023 season in United’s 2-0 win over Sheriff

The penalty marked Ronaldo's first goal of the season and his 699th club goal of his career
The penalty marked Ronaldo's first goal of the season and his 699th club goal of his career

The penalty marked Ronaldo’s first goal of the season and his 699th club goal of his career

However, Ronaldo was visibly frustrated during United’s Europa League game against Sheriff and let his emotions run wild at halftime.

One fan – who was also part of the medical staff at Zimbru Stadium – reached out to ask Ronaldo if he wanted to stop to take a picture as he left the pitch.

The 37-year-old barely glanced at the woman before pushing her outstretched arm away and storming through the tunnel.

Ronaldo was also involved in a similar incident involving a ball boy after the final whistle was blown at Zimbru Stadium.

However, Ronaldo wasn't in the mood for a photo with a fan as he left the pitch at halftime
However, Ronaldo wasn't in the mood for a photo with a fan as he left the pitch at halftime

However, Ronaldo wasn’t in the mood for a photo with a fan as he left the pitch at halftime

The woman, who was part of the medical staff, was left stunned when her request was ignored
The woman, who was part of the medical staff, was left stunned when her request was ignored

The woman, who was part of the medical staff, was left stunned when her request was ignored

The ball boy ran to Ronaldo and tried to get a photo with the star before being led away.

The Manchester United attacker gestured for the boy to leave him alone before he walked away.

This isn’t the first time Ronaldo has vented his frustration at a fan who tried to take a selfie.

Ronaldo received a backlash last year when he was filmed apparently smashing a phone out of the hands of a 14-year-old boy after United lost to Everton at Goodison Park.

The attacker later apologized but was interviewed by police in connection with alleged assault and criminal damage and was given a warning.

Ronaldo appeared to knock a phone out of a 14-year-old boy's hands at Everton last season
Ronaldo appeared to knock a phone out of a 14-year-old boy's hands at Everton last season

Ronaldo appeared to knock a phone out of a 14-year-old boy’s hands at Everton last season

The child’s mother turned down the chance to meet Ronaldo, calling him “arrogant” after speaking to the Portugal international on the phone.

Nevertheless, Ronaldo will have been delighted with his first goal of the 2022-2023 season during United’s win over Sheriff.

The 37-year-old scored from the penalty spot after Diogo Dalot committed a foul by Patrick Kpozo in the penalty area.

Ronaldo looked nervous before getting up to take the penalty, but shot the ball straight through the middle to register his 699th club goal of his career.

Ronaldo previously wore shin guards with an image of his face next to the emblem of the Portuguese national team.  They also showed pictures of his four children
Ronaldo previously wore shin guards with an image of his face next to the emblem of the Portuguese national team.  They also showed pictures of his four children

Ronaldo previously wore shin guards with an image of his face next to the emblem of the Portuguese national team. They also showed pictures of his four children

Ronaldo was substituted later in the match and was pictured taking off his personalized shin guards, which appeared to have photos of his family.

This isn’t the first time the cameras have caught a glimpse of Ronaldo’s shin guards. The striker was seen kissing his personalized shin guards several times before tucking them into his socks ahead of United’s clash with Burnley last season.

Ronaldo’s shin guards appeared to have a picture of his face next to the Portuguese national team emblem. They also showed pictures of his four children.

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