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Rio Ferdinand insists Cristiano Ronaldo can punish Premier League sides’ poor defending from crosses

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‘Get it in there – he’ll score!’: Rio Ferdinand tells Manchester United to cross the ball in at every opportunity to get the most out of Cristiano Ronaldo

  • Cristiano Ronaldo will be the key to any success Man United have this season
  • Rio Ferdinand believes Premier League defenders are poor at stopping crosses
  • Ronaldo has a freakish talent for hanging in the air and scoring headers  
  • His former United team-mate believes the Portuguese icon can exploit defences 











Rio Ferdinand has fired a warning to Premier League defenders – sharpen up at crosses or Cristiano Ronaldo will punish you.  

The Manchester United No 7 scored twice on his second debut at a roaring Old Trafford on Saturday, though both were scored with his feet. 

Ronaldo has plenty of weapons at his disposal but that mind-blowing ability to hang in the air high above rival defenders, and with pin-point precision direct a header into the net, is one of his greatest. 

Cristiano Ronaldo is off the mark for Manchester United, scoring a double against Newcastle

Cristiano Ronaldo is off the mark for Manchester United, scoring a double against Newcastle

Ronaldo's heading ability has made him a huge threat from crosses since his first United spell

Ronaldo’s heading ability has made him a huge threat from crosses since his first United spell

Ferdinand has spotted a weakness in the Premier League for getting organised when the ball is swung in, and the former United centre-back has encouraged his old club to ‘play to Ronaldo’s strengths.’ 

‘One thing from a Man United point of view that they could learn from the weekend’s game – and I’m telling you he would have been in there telling them – is just cross that ball,’ Ferdinand on his YouTube channel. 

‘(He’ll be saying) when you get the opportunities to cross the ball, you put it in there because I’m aggressive and I want the ball. 

‘It’s well documented – and I’ve always said this for the last few years – the defenders in our country aren’t great at defending crosses, it’s not an art that is honed anymore.

Rio Ferdinand thinks Premier League defences will not be able to handle the Portuguese icon

Rio Ferdinand thinks Premier League defences will not be able to handle the Portuguese icon

‘When I was a kid that was part and parcel of your daily routine – defending crosses, defending the box. I don’t feel the players are doing that enough – or pulling the coach and saying “listen boss, I need to do a bit more on crosses.”

‘When I see balls coming into the box at the moment – the body positions, the angles etc are way off.

‘It ain’t easy – I know I’ve made plenty of mistakes in that position but I think Ronaldo can exploit some of the naive defending at the moment in the PL. 

‘They should play to their players’ strengths – and Cristiano, he attacks better than anyone.’ 



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