(Reuters) – Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo has backed incoming boss Erik ten Hag to deliver trophies at the club next season but cautioned that the new manager must be afforded time to implement changes needed to make the team a credible force.
Ronaldo scored 24 goals in all competitions and was a rare bright spark in an otherwise disappointing season for United, who failed to qualify for the Champions League after finishing sixth in the Premier League.
Ten Hag will arrive in Manchester after three seasons at Ajax, where he led the Amsterdam-based side to three league titles and two Dutch Cup triumphs, and take over from interim coach Ralf Rangnick.
“I know he did a fantastic job for Ajax and that he’s an experienced coach but we need to give him time and things need to change — the way he wants,” Ronaldo told United in a video released by the club on Friday.
“I hope we have success of course because if you have success all of Manchester are going to have success as well. So I wish him the best.
“We are happy and excited, not only the players but the supporters as well. I wish him the best and let’s believe that next year we’re going to win trophies.”
Speculation was rife about Ronaldo’s future at United following a trophy-less campaign on his return to Old Trafford after 12 years but the 37-year-old maintained that he was content in Manchester.
“I was happy to be back in a club that really raised my career so it was unbelievable, the feeling when I came back again,” Ronaldo said. “I was and still am very happy to be here.
“The most important thing for me is to try to win the games and try to win some championship… but I believe that Manchester will be back where they belong. Sometimes it takes time, but I still believe.”
(Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)