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05th Oct 2021

Sir Alex captured telling Khabib that Ronaldo should’ve started vs Everton

Daniel Brown

“You should always start with your best player.”

Sir Alex Ferguson told Khabib Nurmagomedov that your best player “should always start” after Cristiano Ronaldo was left out of the Manchester United starting line-up against Everton on Saturday.

When the United starting XI was released ahead of the Red Devils’ tie against the Toffees, it was hugely surprising to see Ronaldo’s name amongst the substitutes.

The Portuguese international has been in fine goalscoring form since his return to Old Trafford in August, bagging five in six games in all competitions.

Amongst his five strikes, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner netted a crucial injury-time winner in the Champions League against Villarreal on Wednesday (29 September) evening.

Considering this, it was a huge surprise to see Ole Gunnar Solskjaer leave his star man on the bench alongside Paul Pogba, who had also been in good form, registering seven assists in nine fixtures.

Amongst those surprised with the decision to drop Ronaldo was United supporter and MMA icon Khabib Nurmagomedov, who was discussing the decision with former Red Devils boss Ferguson after the game.

Nurmagomedov – who uploaded footage of his conversation with Ferguson to Instagram – explained his belief that Rafa Benitez’s side upped their game because they were up against what he described a “good team.”

However, Ferguson suggested that Ronaldo starting from the bench helped Everton.

Ferguson told Nurmagomedov: “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.”

Despite United’s No.7 coming on in the second half – when the home side were still leading 1-0 – the Scot was quick to point out that Solakjaer should have played Ronaldo from the start.

“I know, but you should always start with your best player,” Ferguson added in response to Nurmagomedov.

Ronaldo replaced Edinson Cavani in the 57th minute, less than 10 minutes before Andros Townsend finished off a spectacular counter-attacking move to earn Everton a point.

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