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Cristiano Ronaldo declares himself fit to start Brighton in Manchester United's season opener

I’m ready! Cristiano Ronaldo declares fit to start against Brighton in Manchester United’s season opener at Old Trafford as boss Erik ten Hag weighs whether to play a wanton striker

  • Cristiano Ronaldo posts on Instagram that he is ready for the new season
  • Erik ten Hag forced to call about whether or not the Portuguese start against Brighton
  • Ronaldo played just 45 minutes of pre-season ahead of the new campaign
  • 38-year-old demanded to leave Old Trafford this summer but is still at the club

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Cristiano Ronaldo has declared himself ready for Manchester United’s opening game against Brighton on Sunday, forcing Erik ten Hag to make an important decision about whether or not to play the Portuguese star.

The 38-year-old has spent the summer trying to get away from Old Trafford and missed United’s pre-season tour of Asia and Australia due to ‘family reasons’.

Ronaldo has played for the club just 45 minutes into the pre-season, putting him behind the rest of the United roster in terms of fitness levels ahead of the new season.

Cristiano Ronaldo sent a clear message about his availability to Erik ten Hag on Sunday

Cristiano Ronaldo sent a clear message about his availability to Erik ten Hag on Sunday

Manchester United's new manager has a big call to make ahead of the club's season opener

Manchester United's new manager has a big call to make ahead of the club's season opener

Manchester United’s new manager has a big call to make ahead of the club’s season opener

Erik ten Hag removed Ronaldo at halftime during United’s 1-1 draw against Rayo Vallecano last weekend, to protect him in his first elimination under his rule.

However, the United number seven has tried to force the Dutchman’s hand by posting a photo of himself from that match, with the word ‘done’ written on the side. Even adding the praying emoji and the biceps flexing emoji to hammer home its message.

The Instagram story appears to be a clear hint to Ten Hag that Ronaldo feels he is ready to play, and is increasing pressure on the new United boss to play Ronaldo for the Seagulls visit.

Cristiano Ronaldo declared himself ready for Brighton with this post on his Instagram stories

Cristiano Ronaldo declared himself ready for Brighton with this post on his Instagram stories

Cristiano Ronaldo declared himself ready for Brighton with this post on his Instagram stories

The situation is complicated by the injury of Anthony Martial. The Frenchman, who was in red-hot form during pre-season, has suffered a Grade 1 hamstring injury and will miss the Red Devils’ season opener.

His injury has left United with few attacking opportunities and that means Ten Hag can turn to Ronaldo, rather than face the potential drama that would ensue if he left the striker on the bench.

Ronaldo is said to have worked with the club’s conditioning staff to restore his fitness, but it would still avoid a risk of playing against someone who has had so little playing time over the summer.

Cristiano played just 45 minutes of Man Utd's 1-1 friendly draw with Rayo Vallecano last week

Cristiano played just 45 minutes of Man Utd's 1-1 friendly draw with Rayo Vallecano last week

Cristiano played just 45 minutes of Man Utd’s 1-1 friendly draw with Rayo Vallecano last week

Anthony Martial banned from Brighton match after Grade 1 hamstring injury

Anthony Martial banned from Brighton match after Grade 1 hamstring injury

Anthony Martial banned from Brighton match after Grade 1 hamstring injury

The Portuguese superstar has so failed in his bid to leave Man Utd this summer, with Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Atlético Madrid barring all moves for the six-time Ballon d’Or winner.

There are reportedly big lucrative offers from further afield for Cristiano, but the United icon still believes he has what it takes to play for a Champions League club.

The Red Devils head into Sunday’s game seeking revenge for the 4-0 defeat they suffered against Brighton in last season’s penultimate game.

Ronaldo started that match, but it remains unclear whether Erik ten Hag will bow to his social media message and include him in his team selection.


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