Manchester United coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has described Cristiano Ronaldo as the best goalscorer alive and likened him to basketball legend Michael Jordan after watching him score a stoppage-time equalizer to score a point against hosts Atalanta in the Champions League.
United still dominate their Champions League group after a 2-2 draw in Bergamo on Tuesday, thanks to Ronaldo’s eighth and ninth goals this season.
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His second of the night – a clear finishing touch from Mason Greenwood’s flick – came in the 91st minute which led Solskjaer to draw comparisons to Jordan.
“He’s unbelievable, and if there’s anyone you want the ball to fall to at the last minute, it’s him.” Solskjaer said. “He’s the best goalscorer alive and it’s hard for me to say that because he just passed me with those two goals, now he has one more Manchester United goal than me.
“That last goal, it should be Michael Jordan’s moment when he wins trophies in overtime.”
Meanwhile, Ronaldo said United were “lucky” to come to a conclusion.
“It was a difficult match, I know when we play in Bergamo it is always difficult, but we believe until the end and I am very happy,” Ronaldo told BT Sport.
“We never give up, we think until the end, it’s a good result for us. We were a little lucky in the end but that’s football.”
The latter goal was particularly welcome for Solskjaer, whose future remains the subject of intense scrutiny.
The performance in Italy will not silence skeptics but Ronaldo insists the team still needs time to cool off.
“We have to improve, we have different players, a different system, we have to adapt to each other, but it will take time, we have time to improve and be better,” he said.
Solskjaer sweats Raphael Varane’s fitness ahead of Manchester City’s visit to Old Trafford on Saturday after the Frenchman developed a hamstring problem.
United boss Varane replaced Greenwood – who set the equalizer for Ronaldo – as well as Jadon Sancho and Donny van de Beek, both of whom made an impact in the final minutes.
“Cristiano is amazing if there’s anyone you want to have a chance and a tough chance, it’s unbelievable,” Solskjaer said.
“This is football, no one can question the character of these players, because they never give up, they keep moving. We had to make changes and they worked.”