In pictures: Young Boys v Manchester United
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Cristiano Ronaldo has drawn comparisons for years as pundits and players alike have tried to liken him to legends of the past and stars of the present. Only Lionel Messi has given him a run for his money in terms of being the world’s greatest, but that hasn’t stopped others trying to liken him with upcoming stars.
Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland are seen as the new kids on the block, but even at the age of 36 Ronaldo still continues to produce numbers that defy logic.
Yet speaking ahead of his Manchester United side’s game against West Ham Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has surprisingly compared him to one of United’s current players – backup keeper Tom Heaton.
Heaton joined United this summer on a free transfer from Aston Villa.
But despite being at the polar opposite end of importance that Ronaldo is for United, Solskjaer has praised him for holding a similar conduct.
“Cristiano has come exactly as we hoped,” Solskjaer said.
“He knows United, he’s been here before, the same with Tom Heaton who has also come back.
“The two of them know the culture, they know what we do, they’ve learnt it here.”
Heaton grew up in the United academy from the age of 16 before leaving for first-team football at Cardiff aged 24.
Making his name at Burnley and earning three England caps, Heaton moved to Villa before an injury cut his spell there short – and the 35-year-old has returned to United as a result.
And the keeper has praised Ronaldo for setting the marker for how the rest of the United squad should train.
“I saw first-hand the work ethic and the desire and the drive that went into his journey to doing what he’s done,” Heaton told the club’s website.
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“You know, we’re certainly seeing that same sort of desire and drive around the training ground in the first few days.
“Everyone in the building can take something from that. He’s the marker, the pinnacle of where everyone wants to be at.
“It’s a brilliant addition obviously on the pitch but also behind the scenes.
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