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“He’s Embraced It” – Cristiano Ronaldo’s Controversial Exit From Manchester United Credited To Have Benefitted the Club’s Current Hero

Published Apr 7, 2023 | 3:34 PM EDT

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The exit of Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United in November 2022 raised a few eyebrows in the soccer world. A string of underwhelming performances and controversies meant the Portuguese star was ultimately sent on his way. Although Ronaldo transferred to the Saudi Arabian club, Al-Nassr, on a huge contract, it seems his legacy still remains at the Red Devils.

The club has been enjoying a string of great performances in the past few months, with Marcus Rashford in the spotlight. The young English talent has scored 28 goals across all competitions. He even played a pivotal role when Manchester United lifted their first trophy in six years, the Carabao Cup. This surge in form has been credited to Ronaldo’s departure from the club, according to soccer pundit and former England defender Stephen Warnock.

Marcus Rashford benefitted from Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit

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Rashford’s spike in form following Ronaldo’s departure from the club has caught the attention of Stephen Warnock. He believes Rashford has benefited from Ronaldo’s move. “Ronaldo might have rubbed off on him”, he said while speaking in the BBC Radio 5 Live’s Football Daily podcast. Warnock further added, “Rashford will have seen what hard work and dedication can lead to but then it’s down to him to do it so huge credit to him for wanting to get better”.

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He continued, “Once Ronaldo was moved out, Rashford became the main man and a lot can crumble having that weight and expectation on their shoulders. He’s embraced it”. Although at the time of Ronaldo’s departure, the fans were not particularly content, their minds have seem to have changed as Rashford stepped up to fill the void left behind by the 5-time Ballon d’Or winner.

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Going by Warnock’s words, it seems as though Ronaldo’s departure has inadvertently benefitted Rashford, as the 25-year-old was able to take center stage. It is debatable if Rashford would or would not be in the same position if Ronaldo was still at the club. Nonetheless, Cristiano Ronaldo seems to be enjoying his time at his new club.

Cristiano Ronaldo dominating in Saudi Arabia

Cristiano Ronaldo has had a remarkable turnaround in form since moving to Al-Nassr. In 11 appearances, he has registered 11 goals and 2 assists. He’s made headlines with his stellar performances, including 4 goals against Al Wehda and a hat-trick against Damac. Recently, he also scored two goals against Al-Adalah to get an edge over arch-rival Lionel Messi.

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At 38 years old, he still has the drive for goals and titles and it’s evident from his performances. Early struggles at Manchester United and the FIFA World Cup have been overcome by the legendary Portuguese forward. It will be exciting to see what else Ronaldo can accomplish with his new team before the end of the seasoin.

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WATCH THIS STORY: Cristiano Jr’s Insane Training Schedule

What are your thoughts on the statement by Stephen Warnock? Let us know in the comments.

Written by:

Saransh Chauhan

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Saransh Chauhan is a Soccer Writer at EssentiallySports. He has an open-minded set of interests, from soccer and video games to anime and music. As an avid gamer, he enjoys playing all genres of video games.
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Edited by:

Tony Thomas