Cristiano Ronaldo paid ultimate compliment by Sir Jim Ratcliffe as new Man Utd chief details masterplan

Cristiano Ronaldo paid ultimate compliment by Sir Jim Ratcliffe as new Man Utd chief details masterplan

WATCH NOW: Cristiano Ronaldo sparks controversy in Saudi Arabia with rude gesture

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 19/03/2024

- 10:23

The Portugal international had two spells at Old Trafford earlier in his career

Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player to ever wear the colours of Manchester United, according to Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

Ratcliffe has taken charge of football operations at Old Trafford, with the British billionaire eager to bring the glory days back to the club following a decade of drift.

Ronaldo's first spell at United was a huge success, with the Portugal international winning three Premier League titles - as well as the Champions League - while playing under Sir Alex Ferguson.

He sealed a Hollywood homecoming back in 2021 and, though he failed to win anything under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Ralf Rangnick and Erik ten Hag, he still added to his legacy with 27 goals across all competitions.

Cristiano Ronaldo Sir Jim Ratcliffe Man Utd

Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player to ever wear the colours of Man Utd, according to Sir Jim Ratcliffe


Ratcliffe has now spoken to the Geraint Thomas Cycling club.

And the 71-year-old, when quizzed on who he thinks is the greatest player in United's history, responded simply by saying: "Ronaldo."

Ratcliffe was also asked which club legend he'd want in the current squad.

But he surprisingly overlooked Ronaldo and went with Paul Scholes instead.

“Paul Scholes. I think that's the player that's most missing," he admitted.

"Casemiro and [Kobbie] Mainoo are sort of quite defensive midfielders, but they don't have a Scholes or an Iniesta."

One thing Ratcliffe is hoping to address is the state of Old Trafford.

The ground, famously dubbed the Theatre of Dreams, is now a shadow of what it once was.

The roof has been leaking for years and the ground has shown huge signs of wear and tear following neglect from the Glazers.

And Ratcliffe has now provided an insight into his plans for the famous arena, admitting United could demolish the ground in a significant move.

“We can refurbish the ground and do a really nice job of that, that would cost about £1billion and the club can shoulder that burden, but you have got the opportunity if you choose to, to build a completely new ground," he said.

"And it'd be state of the art, 90,000-100,000. That provides a platform for some of the big competition being in the North.”

He continued: “There's going to be a task force, completely separate from Manchester United.

"They'll have a look to see if the argument stacks up, and if it does, they'll have to go and speak to the Government.”

A huge issue for United over the past 10 years has been recruitment.


Cristiano Ronaldo Man Utd

Cristiano Ronaldo won three Premier League titles while playing for Man Utd


Some players, such as Bruno Fernandes, Luke Shaw and Diogo Dalot, have done well since their arrivals.

But the Red Devils have snapped up more flops in recent years than they'd like to admit.

Jadon Sancho, Angel Di Maria, Alexis Sanchez, Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku have all failed to scale the heights many expected.

And Ratcliffe wants to inject more 'glamour' into United while admitting they're keen to bring in the right players for the right prices.

“With United there's always been a bit of glamour," he admitted.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe Man Utd

Sir Jim Ratcliffe wants to bring the glory days back to Man Utd following a decade of drift


"The likes of [George] Best, [Sir Bobby] Charlton, [Eric] Cantona the King, it's something we should never forget, it's an element of United.

"We're a bit thin on glamour over the last decade.

“I'd rather find the next Kylian Mbappe rather than spend a fortune trying to buy success.

"It's not that clever, is it? Buying Mbappe, in a way.

"Much more challenging is to find the next Mbappe or [Jude] Bellingham.”

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