Cristiano Ronaldos role in Man Utd U18s winning FA Youth Cup final vs Nottingham Forest

Messi world's highest paid athlete with Ronaldo also featuring in Top 10

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Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo sent in a video message to the Red Devils’ youth team which helped to motivate them before beating Nottingham Forest in the FA Youth Cup final. Victory provided a much-needed dose of good news for the demoralised fanbase, and Ronaldo’s personal touch suggests positivity within the club ahead of Erik ten Hag’s arrival this summer. 

Rhys Bennett’s goal and an Alejandro Garnacho double sealed Man Utd U18s’ first FA Youth Cup triumph in over a decade. Almost 70,000 people turned up to witness the event, including Sir Alex Ferguson and a host of first-team stars. 

Despite other big games elsewhere, it proved to be the highest attendance in England on Wednesday evening and blitzed the previous record in the FA Youth Cup. According to the Manchester Evening News, club icon Ronaldo sent in a video recording to be played for the youngsters in the dressing room before the action got underway.

It supposedly had the desired effect as two late goals sealed the deal for the Red Devils’ starlets. 

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United fans perhaps hold out the most excitement and anticipation for Garnacho, who had the best night of all on Wednesday. The teenager made direct reference to Ronaldo’s input, too, by capping off his second goal with the Portuguese’s trademark celebration.

Ronaldo’s return sparked jubilation from United fans last summer, and his magic moments have been a source of joy in a mostly joyless season. At 37-years-old, the former Real Madrid icon has notched 18 Premier League goals this campaign, and while the latest reports indicate that Ten Hag is keen to see him stick around, there is also hope for youngsters to break through. 

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The Daily Star claim that the Dutchman has asked for a recording of the Youth Cup final so he can assess what they have to offer. Ten Hag was unable to attend or even watch the match-up with Forest, as he was busy winning another league title with Ajax. 

The 51-year-old already has a solid reputation for spotting and nurturing young talent with the Amsterdam giants, which should give many in the U18s side hope that they could have a future for the Red Devils. One name he pulled through in his earlier years as Ajax boss is Frenkie de Jong, and recent reports indicate that a reunion could be on the cards at Old Trafford. 

The midfielder has spent the past three years with Barcelona, who are reportedly willing to cash in on him this summer to raise funds. While some claims suggest that De Jong’s arrival at United is imminent, others insist that there is more work to be done. 

There has supposedly been contact, however, and United are presumed keen to bolster their midfield options. Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic are both weeks away from the exit door, and while there is excitement for the return of loanee James Garner, more recruits will be needed to avoid a shortage. 

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