Former Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, said that your best player “should always start” after Cristiano Ronaldo was left out of the starting line-up against Everton on Saturday.
In what was a hugely surprising decision made by United chief Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Ronaldo was one of a few eye-catching omissions from the starting line-up against the Toffees, with the Portuguese international having been in fine form since returning to the club in August.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner had scored three goals in three Premier League matches prior to the tussle with Everton, as well as netting a last-gasp winner in the UEFA Champions League against Villarreal last Wednesday evening.
Nevertheless, Solskjaer decided to switch things up, leaving Ronaldo on the bench, alongside fellow big-name star Paul Pogba.
The decision to leave the 36-year-old out of the starting line-up came as a huge surprise to everyone, including United supporter and Russian mixed martial artist Khabib Nurmagomedov, who discussed the decision with former United boss Ferguson after the game.
Uploading footage of his conversation with Ferguson, Nurmagomedov explained that he thought Everton upped their game because they were up against what he described a “good team.”
Ferguson, though, felt it also helped them by the fact that Ronaldo was left on the substitute’s bench.
Ferguson told Nurmagomedov, via a video on the latter’s Instagram page: “Of course. But I also think that when they saw Ronaldo wasn’t playing.”
Nurmagomedov replied: “Yes, but he came on in the second half.”
That prompted Ferguson into pointing out that you should always have your star player on the pitch from the off, suggesting that he disagreed with Solskjaer’s decision to leave United’s No.7 out of the starting line-up for the first Premier League match since he returned to the club.
“I know, but you should always start with your best player,” Ferguson added.
Ronaldo stepped off the bench against Rafael Benitez’s side with 57 minutes on the clock, replacing Edinson Cavani. United were leading 1-0 at the time but were pegged back less than 10 minutes after Ronaldo’s introduction when Andros Townsend finished off a fine counter-attacking move to earn Everton a point.