Bangkok Post

Fergie: Benching Ronaldo gave Everton a big boost


LONDON: Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson said Cristiano Ronaldo should have started last weekend’s 1-1 home draw with Everton instead of being brought on as a second-half substitute by current boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Ronaldo came on just before the hour mark with United leading 1-0 but Everton grabbed an equaliser in the 65th minute and held on for the draw.

In a video posted on social media, Ferguson is heard telling mixed martial arts great Khabib Nurmagomed­ov that Everton were given a boost “when they saw Ronaldo wasn’t playing ...”

When Nurmagomed­ov reminded Ferguson that Ronaldo came on in the second half, the Scot added: “Yeah I know ... but you should always start with your best players.”

Ronaldo has said Ferguson, who first signed him as an 18-year-old from Sporting Lisbon in 2003, played a big role in the player coming back to Old Trafford.

United, who have 14 points from seven league games, will take on Leicester City on Oct 16 in the next round of matches following the internatio­nal break.

Meanwhile, former United and South Korea midfielder Park Ji-Sung urged the club’s fans to stop singing a song about him that contains a negative stereotype about his homeland.

The 40-year-old said the song, which includes a reference to Koreans eating dog meat, caused him “discomfort” while he was at United.

He made more than 200 appearance­s for United between 2005 and 2012, helping them win four Premier League titles and the Champions League in 2008.

Park said he was prompted to speak out after hearing United fans singing the song at Molineux in August when Wolves unveiled their new signing Hwang Hee-Chan of South Korea.

“I know that United fans don’t mean any offence to him for that song but still I have to educate the fans to stop that word [dog meat], which is usually these days a racial insult to the Korean people,” Park told the club’s podcast.

“In Korea, things have changed a lot. It is true that historical­ly we have eaten dog meat but these days, particular­ly the younger generation, they really dislike it. It causes discomfort to Korean people when they hear that song.”

United backed Park in a statement that read: “Manchester United fully supports Ji-Sung’s comments and urges fans to respect his wishes.”

 ?? AFP ?? United’s Cristiano Ronaldo.
AFP United’s Cristiano Ronaldo.

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