The return of Cristiano Ronaldo has brought joy amongst everyone that is associated with Manchester United. It makes the owners happy, the coaches, fans, legends, and most importantly his new teammates.
No one might be happier than the young trio of Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Mason Greenwood. Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford have previously shown how much they idolize Cristiano Ronaldo on social media, as well as Mason but maybe not to their level. Ronaldo will be able to help them all in different ways.
Out of the three Marcus Rashford is the most similar to Cristiano Ronaldo especially the young United version of Ronaldo. Both burst onto the scene at 17-18 and were raw skillful forwards. Rashford has even been called “Rashnaldo” by fans as he does similar things to Ronaldo. He copied the knuckleball free kick technique, cutting in using the chop and blasting the ball into the side-netting, along with other moves.
It has already been reported that Rashford is eager to learn from Ronaldo both on the pitch and off the pitch habits.
Ronaldo can help Rashford take that next step in becoming a world class forward and he’s only missing one thing and that is consistency. Ronaldo had the same issues at United when he first started. He had all the ability in the world but he was not consistent enough. Then that 06/07 season came and Ronaldo started getting recognized as one of the best in the world.
Over the last two seasons, Rashford has put up world class numbers with 22 goals and 12 assists in all comps in 19/20 and 21 goals and 15 assists last season according to Transfermarkt. His performances have not been the most consistent and while that may be due to injury it could be him getting closer to his best but almost there.
One thing Ronaldo does is demand excellence from everyone and that motivation might be what gets Rashford to start performing at his best. For players that have all the ability in the world, motivation and determination to be great is what puts them over the edge. Ronaldo is the main example of that and he can teach Rashford that.
Mason Greenwood will benefit from Ronaldo the most in terms of on the field help. Mason Greenwood has been the most impressive player so far this season with 3 goals in 3 games with all heavily impacting the game like all his goals usually do. Ronaldo will certainly not teach him how to finish cause Mason might be the best in the league at that currently.
What Ronaldo can help Mason with is what Mason has been learning from Edinson Cavani. Mason has been learning how to understand the game better from Cavani and how to move around in the box. The improvement has been noticeable as Mason looks like a more complete footballer now than he was in his debut season.
Ronaldo can help him understand how to learn the game better from both the wing and up front. Ronaldo has played both like Mason, and Ronaldo can teach him how to make runs from both positions. No one in the world is more determined to score goals than Ronaldo other than maybe Erling Haaland. Ronaldo can teach Mason that aggression on how to get goals from anywhere in the front line and how to move around in the box.
Few footballers are more intelligent than CR7 as he has adjusted his game over the years many times to remain as one of the best players in the world. Mason is very lucky to be able to get that type of intelligence shown to him from two of the best strikers of the 2010’s in Ronaldo and Cavani.
Of the three forwards, Jadon Sancho is the player that is least similar in my opinion to Cristiano Ronaldo. He has some similarities with the younger version which is why he idolized him, but shares no resemblance to the current version. What Ronaldo can help Sancho with is on the mental side of things.
Jadon Sancho was a marquee signing this summer so the pressure is on him to perform well and quick. At 21 the pressure is high and can get to his head, but Ronaldo can be able to help him with that.
Ronaldo is one of the most mentally strong athletes in the world and there are few things that can phase him. He thrives off pressure, as there is a reason he is a 5 time UCL winner. There was a game in 2016 when he played for Real Madrid and it was against Celta Vigo at the Bernabeu and Ronaldo was getting booed after not starting the game well. His response was 4 goals in the second half.
Like Sancho, Ronaldo was also a marquee transfer at a young age to a different league when he moved to Real Madrid at 23 in 2009. He had to get used to Spanish football like Sancho needs to get used to top flight English football. There will be times where Sancho struggles and having someone like Cristiano by your side is one of the biggest positives you can have. He can help him deal with the pressure and perform at his best.
Also with Cristiano arriving this summer, it has already taken some of the pressure of Sancho as he is no longer the marquee signing of the summer.
Overall, Sancho, Rashford, and Greenwood can all learn so much from Ronaldo. He is one of the best players of all time, has won almost everything there is to win in football both individually and team wise so that experience will benefit them the most. Ronaldo will be at United for 2-3 years then the reigns will fall on these three players to continue and lead United to trophies. Learning from the best will help them be able to do that.