(HD Video) Cristiano Ronaldo Respect & Humble Moments
Ronaldo received the armband from his third United manager, having donned it under Sir Alex Ferguson against Bolton Wanderers in March 2008 before regaining it under Ralf Rangnick against Wolves in January.
The Portuguese wore the armband in the absence of the benched Harry Maguire and suspended Bruno Fernandes. Ten Hag admitted there were three alternatives he considered but chose Ronaldo.
“It’s about Harry Maguire is on the bench,” Ten Hag said. “Bruno is our captain, not available, and then it’s about David de Gea: leader, but goalie is far away from the outfield. Then Casemiro is the leader, Licha [Martinez] can be a leader, Casemiro is not speaking 100% perfect English, and then Cristiano is the leader, especially [he] is the leader of the team so he has the band, clear.”
Donny van de Beek was a dismal replacement for Fernandes, who seems certain to return at least against Fulham in United’s final Premier League game before the World Cup. United host Villa in the League Cup on Thursday night.
Van de Beek started his first meaningful league match for United in 701 days and only lasted 65 minutes in another anodyne performance.
“Bruno Fernandes is an important player but what you want to express, no, I don’t have that feeling,” Ten Hag replied when the Fernandes factor was raised. “It’s about also the players on the pitch have to win this game and they can do their work, if they do their job, with 100 per cent, with passion, desire, following the rules and principles of football then we win this game.
“It’s always difficult when you are playing with 10 others and it’s not the day from the team to value an individual. And I think it was collectively that we bring a bad performance.”
Ten Hag conceded Marcus Rashford played out of position on the right-hand side. Antony missed his third match running with a muscular injury and United’s only recognised right winger available, Facundo Pellistri, has never played for the club more than two years on from his arrival.
“Yes, he can play there, also his stats, he scores across all the positions equally,” Ten Hag said of Rashford. “But for me best position for Rashford is No.9 or coming out from the left, clear. But we have in our frontline problems, so for this game it was the best balance.”