David de Gea hails ‘legend’ Cristiano Ronaldo’s instant impact at Manchester United since he re-signed for the club and reveals the club’s young stars are already looking up to his gym work and ‘how he takes care of his body’
- Ronaldo has scored four goals in three appearances for Manchester United
- De Gea revealed Portuguese star has already had an impact on younger players
- Ronaldo’s meticulous diet has allowed him to remain in perfect physical shape
- The five-time Ballon D’Or winner eats six small, protein-rich meals a day
- United have got off to their best start to a Premier League season since 2017
Cristiano Ronaldo may only be a month into his second spell at Manchester United but David de Gea believes the Portuguese superstar has already made his presence felt on and off the pitch.
Ronaldo completed a shock return to United this summer, 12 years after leaving Old Trafford for Real Madrid and has hit the ground running, scoring four goals in three appearances in all competitions.
The 36-year-old’s impact, however, has stretched beyond his excellent goalscoring form.
Cristiano Ronaldo has made an immediate impact since returning to Manchester United
‘I think that the impact is already there. It’s amazing to have him back at home,’ De Gea, who saved Mark Noble’s late penalty as United won 2-1 at West Ham in the Premier League last weekend, told Sky Sports.
‘He’s already a legend in the club, so I think for the players, for the young lads, for everyone, he’s a great guy to see every day how he works in the gym, how he treats himself, how he takes care of his body, and of himself.’
‘He is an amazing player and it’s great to see him here every day working hard and helping the team.’
The goal against West Ham on Sunday was Ronaldo’s third in two Premier League games
The Portuguese superstar has been hailed as a ‘legend’ by United teammate David de Gea
Ronaldo is notoriously very meticulous about his diet, which involves six meals a day, spaced out at 3-4 hour intervals and includes fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains and lean proteins.
Frozen foods and red meat, on the other hand, are off the menu.
Coupled with a strict fitness regime, the diet has allowed Ronaldo to remain in peak physical condition despite being six months short of his 37th birthday and De Gea isn’t alone in being impressed by his teammate’s fitness.
Speaking to talkSPORT earlier this month, United goalkeeper Lee Grant revealed he and his teammates skipped dessert at the team’s hotel after observing Ronaldo’s eating habits.
Ronaldo also eats plenty of fish but avoids having red meat or eating anything frozen
The health-conscious Portuguese star has also apparently already impacted on diets as well
As well as making sure he eats all the right foods, Ronaldo naps throughout the day
‘You finish your dinner and usually on a Friday night you’ve got some cheat stuff out,’ he said.
‘You’ve got some apple crumble and custard or you’ve got a bit of brownie and cream or whatnot.
‘I tell you now, not one player touched the apple crumble and custard, not one player went up for that brownie because everybody was sat down.
‘One of the lads said to me, “What has Cristiano got on his plate?”‘
A good diet involving six high-protein mini-meals a day is behind Ronaldo’s stunning displays
On the pitch, Ronaldo’s arrival has helped United make a strong start to their Premier League campaign. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have picked up 13 points from a possible 15 so far and trail Chelsea and Liverpool only on goal difference after five games going into Saturday’s match against Aston Villa at Old Trafford.
It marks United’s best start to a Premier League season since 2017, when they won six and drew one of their first seven games under Jose Mourinho.
The 20-times champions of England, however, are already playing catch-up in the Champions League after losing their opening game to Young Boys last week and were dumped out of the Carabao Cup by West Ham on Wednesday.
Manchester United’s next five fixtures
Premier League unless stated
- Saturday – Aston Villa (H)
- September 29 – Villareal (H), Champions League
- October 2 – Everton (H)
- October 16 – Leicester (A)
- October 20 – Atalanta (H), Champions League
Despite the setbacks, De Gea believes Ronaldo and fellow summer signings Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane can help United end a trophy drought that stretches all the way back to the 2017 Europa League final.
‘Let’s see, like I said, now we have a bigger squad, big players – players with experience like Cristiano, like Raphael Varane, like me, Juan Mata – so we have more experience on the team,’ the Spaniard added.
‘So let’s see, it can be a great year.
‘We signed good players and we already had a good squad.
‘We are there at the top of the league fighting for every game, of course it is hard, it is the best league in the world.
‘Every game is difficult, we want to fight for the big trophies, try to fight for the Premier League, the Champions League, for everything.
‘I think we have the squad and the players and we have the fans with us so it’s amazing. I think the club is in a good point.’
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