Should United fans be worried about this?
Paul McGrath has explained Manchester United’s “Portugal problem” that could arise with Cristiano Ronaldo as the season goes on.
While Ronaldo has got off to a brilliant start for United, scoring two goals in his first league game back, and then scoring the team’s only goal in the 2-1 loss to Young Boys during the week.
However, Ronaldo did come off after United went down to 10 men against Young Boys, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer attempts to manage the striker’s load, as he is 36 years of age.
Paul McGrath on Cristiano Ronaldo
In his column in the Irish Independent, McGrath said that Ronaldo’s desire to play regularly for Portugal will come back to haunt them.
“One way for a seasoned player to get a rest period during a busy domestic campaign is to give up international football.
“To get a ten-day break four or five times a season during the international windows. With Cristiano I suspect it is the opposite.
“He surely has it written into his contract that he can be available for his country at all times.
“With Lionel Messi at last leading Argentina to a Copa America triumph during the summer, the final frontier for these two magnificent footballers is to give the elusive World Cup winners’ medal a last go in November and December of next year in Qatar.
“No, Cristiano will not be taking any step back from his commitment to Portugal – as Ireland found out to their cost earlier this month.
“Thus, United have to factor that into their plans for using their returned hero.”
Ronaldo’s return to United
Next up for Ronaldo is a trip to West Ham, who were also in action in Europe during the week.
While it will undeniably be a tough game, United will need to be winning these types of games if they are to have any hope of a title charge this season, and Ronaldo’s goals will be massively important in any attempt to do so.