Cristiano Ronaldo joined the crop of Manchester United stars paying tribute to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after his sacking – calling him ‘an outstanding human being’.
United finally pulled the trigger on the Norwegian on Sunday morning in the wake of the club’s humiliating 4-1 defeat by lowly Watford, with the club now looking for an interim manager to lead them through the season.
Solskjaer had faced growing calls from fans to leave his post during a campaign of struggles – with the Red Devils now 12 points off Chelsea at the top of the table despite splashing out on three major signings, including the high profile Ronaldo.
Cristiano Ronaldo paid tribute to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after his sacking by Manchester United
He hailed the ‘outstanding human being’ who he started his career with at Old Trafford
The beleaguered coach, however, has been praised by a handful of pundits, including Gary Neville, for restoring some pride to United after years of uncertainty, while squad members have hailed him for his work at the club.
Ronaldo added to that show of support, posting a tribute to Solskjaer on social media after his axing and lauding his character. The 37-year-old played up front with Solskjaer when he first joined the club in 2004 before playing under him as a coach when he returned from Juventus this summer.
‘He’s been my striker when I first came to Old Trafford and he’s been my coach since I came back to Man United,’ Ronaldo wrote.
The club finally pulled the trigger on their beleaguered boss after a dismal 4-1 loss to Watford
‘But most of all, Ole is an outstanding human being. I wish him the best in whatever his life has reserved for him. Good luck, my friend! You deserve it!’
There was great excitement when Solskjaer signed Ronaldo to secure a fairytale return, but while the Portuguese ace has scored a handful of goals to get them out of trouble, his presence caused problems for his boss.
Ronaldo has stormed down the tunnel on a number of occasions, with the feeling that Solskjaer lacked the authority to control his dominating aura. He was criticised for undermining his coach for moody antics – especially after being named on the bench in the 1-1 draw vs Everton.
There was excitement when Solskjaer secured Ronaldo’s fairytale return to Old Trafford
But their relationship quickly grew tense as the forward began to dominate life at the club
Solskjaer also received messages from his skipper Harry Maguire, who thanked him for signing him from Leicester City and giving him the armband.
‘You signed me for the best club in the world and gave me the biggest honour in football. Huge respect and forever grateful. Thank you for everything boss. Legend.’
Striker Marcus Rashford was the first to post about Solskjaer following his exit, calling him a ‘club legend’, while goalkeeper David de Gea said: ‘You always gave everything and everyone knows you are a legend at @ManUtd.’
Neville – another former team-mate of Solskjaer’s – was hugely critical of the club for their handling of the coach and decision making, but felt the former Cardiff and Molde boss had been successful in ‘restoring soul’ to Old Trafford.
Marcus Rashford was the first current United player to respond to the sacking news on Sunday
Harry Maguire (left) thanked ‘legend’ Solskjaer after the Manchester United boss was sacked
Posting on Twitter, the Sky Sports pundit said: ‘Thank you Ole. You did us proud. The last two months were tough but before that you restored some soul into the club.’
Evra, another former United defender and team-mate of Solskjaer, wrote on Twitter: ‘Thank you for making us believe in @ManUtd again my friend…’
Ander Herrera, the ex-United midfield, posted a picture of himself hugging Solskjaer on Instagram and wrote: ‘One of the best people I have met in football. All the best Ole.’
Rodrigo Bentancur set to return on New Year’s Day as Tottenham are handed a fitness boost
Cristiano Ronaldo had JUST TEN touches during Portugal’s 1-0 World Cup defeat to Morocco
World Cup state-of-play in all eight groups: Tables, fixtures, results, permutations