Cristiano Ronaldo has admitted that he is “not happy” with what Manchester United is achieving in 2021-22, calling for “higher spirit and a stronger mentality” in the dressing room.
Ronaldo completed what was arguably the biggest transfer of 2021 when he rejoined United from Juventus for $27 million in August.
The 36-year-old has since proven that he has lost none of his sharpness in front of goal by finding the net 14 times in 21 appearances, but the Red Devils have not been nearly as consistent as a collective (9W-5L-4D in the Premier League), which he admits has been a source of major frustration.
Ronaldo took to social media to reflect on another stellar year from a persoinal standpoint that also saw him round off his time at Juve with two more domestic trophies before taking home the Golden Boot for Portugal at Euro 2021.
Ronaldo’s 2021 year-end Instagram post
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner is demanding far more from his United teammates in the second half of the season, though, as he wrote on Instagram: “2021 is coming to an end and it was far from being an easy year, despite my 47 goals scored across all competitions.
“At Juventus, I was proud to win the Italian Cup and the Italian Supercup, and become the Serie A Top Scorer. For Portugal, becoming the Euro Top Scorer was also a high point this year. And of course, my return to Old Trafford will always be one of the most iconic moments in my career.
“But I’m not happy with what we are achieving in Man United. None of us are happy, I’m sure of that. We know that we have to work harder, play better and deliver way more than we are delivering right now.
“Let’s make this New Year’s Eve a turning point of the season! Let’s embrace 2022 with a higher spirit and a stronger mentality. Let’s take us above and beyond, let’s reach for the stars and put this club right where it belongs! Join us, we’re counting on all of you!
“Happy New Year and see you soon!”
Manchester United’s 2022 title prospects
With the additions of Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho in the summer transfer window, the Red Devils initially looked well-placed to challenge for the title at the start of the season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
United started brightly but quickly faded, suffering humiliating defeats at the hands of Liverpool, Manchester City and Watford, with Solskjaer ultimately paying the price with his job.
Ralf Rangnick has now taken the managerial reins on an interim basis, and has overseen three wins and two draws from his first five games at the helm, with Wolves up on Monday, Jan. 3.
A 3-1 victory against Burnley last time out, during which Ronaldo netted his eighth Premier League goal of the campaign, served to raise fresh optimism, but United now has a real fight on its hands to finish in the top four.
An early exit in the Carabao Cup saw another chance for silverware fall by the wayside, but supporters will hope that Ronaldo & Co. can go all the way in either the Champions League or FA Cup as Rangnick continues to try and mold the squad with a new style of play.
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