Rome: Brazilian football legend Ronaldo has put his weight behind under-fire Manchester United head coach Jose Mourinho and said he believes the Portuguese can turn things around.
Mourinho is under pressure after United started the English Premier League season with one win and two defeats. They lost 0-3 at home to Tottenham Hotspur on Monday which made matters worse.
“I don’t know what’s happening in Manchester, but wait before criticising Mou — he’s special and he’s won a lot,” he told Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Asked about United’s chances in the Champions League where United have been drawn against Juventus, Valencia and Young Boys, Ronaldo said “(Juventus) are a really strong side. They’ve reached the final twice recently and (Cristiano) Ronaldo is going to strengthen them, but the Champions League is not easy. Signing (Cristiano) Ronaldo doesn’t automatically mean you win it.
“What you cannot deny is that it’s a huge signing — unthinkable — but nobody can predict what will happen and how the balance will change. I wish him all the best. He will see what a beautiful country he’s arrived in, and I love Italy. He’s going to enjoy a great adventure.”
Former Brazil star Ronaldo, who turned out for Inter Milan 68 times and scored 49 goals, added that he is delighted to see them back in the Champions League this season, although picking Real to win a fourth straight title.
“They are always in my heart, even if I’ve followed them little recently and not spoken any more with (former owner Massimo) Moratti,” said the 41-year-old.
“They’re back in the Champions League and that’s a great result, and they are back among the best, which is where they belong.
“I’m very attached to Real, more so than Barcelona. Real were strong even before (Cristiano) Ronaldo came and they will remain so after. They are still the favourites to win the Champions League. They’ve won four of the last five, although it’s going to be a whole different challenge without (Cristiano) Ronaldo.”