That wouldn’t be like him…
Jesse Lingard has paid tribute to his new teammate Cristiano Ronaldo with his celebration for England against Andorra on Sunday.
Lingard scored the first goal of the game, when he was surprisingly given a start by Gareth Southgate. The Manchester United midfielder is yet to start a game this weekend, though he has come on for brief cameos.
Never one to shy away from an outlandish celebration, after scoring the goal, he did Ronaldo’s trademark jump and landing, before then doing his own ‘J Lingz’ hand signal.
— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS_EN) September 5, 2021
Lingard clearly idolises Ronaldo, and has done from an early age, when the Portuguese winger was helping out with some coaching for United’s academy.
A young Jesse Lingard star-struck at Cristiano Ronaldo’s skills 😂😂
— United Zone (@ManUnitedZone_) August 27, 2021
Speaking about the impact he had on him, Lingard said: “When [Ronaldo] first came to Manchester United, I was 11 or 12. We did a skills DVD and it was him teaching us skills, which was good.
“That was the first time I had seen him. He was young and skinny when he came [to the club].
“He has been at plenty of clubs and won many trophies. I believe he is a real icon of football, the Michael Jordan of football.”
Jesse Lingard’s future
It seemed extremely likely that Lingard would move to West Ham this summer, after he had such a positive loan spell in London during the second half of last season.
But neither club could come to an agreement, and as a result, Lingard will remain a Manchester United player until January at the very earliest.
Not only did Lingard play brilliantly with West Ham, but he looked genuinely happy on the pitch, and was clearly a crucial part of their plans.
At United, unfortunately, he will be a bench player unless the side faces unprecedented injuries in the attacking positions, especially since Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes and Jadon Sancho signed for the club.
Based on his celebration on Sunday though, this might not bother him too much.