Tim Sherwood has made the rather bold claim that he can see Cristiano Ronaldo becoming the Manchester United manager in the next 18 months.
The pundit, speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes at its launch of the 5-A-Side bet on Arsenal v Spurs, believes Ronaldo has already shown he has a management career in him, having watched the way the Portugal international likes to bark instructions to his team-mates from the touch line when he’s not on the pitch.
Sherwood also noticed Ronaldo having a word in the ear of some Man Utd players before the West Ham game, and can foresee the 36-year-old looking to go straight into management with whatever club he ends up finishing his playing career with.
“I think it’s OK that Ronaldo’s on the touchline and Ole’s going to have to accept it. If he brings him to his football club you’ve got to know what you’re bringing in,” Sherwood said.
“It’s a completely different Ronaldo to the one who was at Old Trafford the first time around. He knows how he’s needed and if he feels like he needs to stand next to the manager and give instructions then you’ve got to let him do that.
“I’m not sure he’d be doing that with Jose Mourinho mind you, it would be very different with him still in charge, but you’d also have to ask Ronaldo why he feels it’s necessary to stand up and give some instruction in the first place.
“We’ve seen him do it on the international stage, most recently at the Euros, barking out orders. That boy will be a manager 100%. I would have a bet on him being Manchester United manager in 18 months. Whenever Ronaldo finishes playing I think he will become a manager, it will be an automatic choice.
“If they win the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, any of those trophies, then Solskjaer keeps his job, but if they don’t win anything I think they’ve got a manager there in the making. He could bring an experienced coach in there with him – someone like Carlos Queiroz – as he’ll know plenty of them, and I can see him being a manager at Man United in the future.
“He’s almost coaching now; you saw it at the weekend during the warm-up whispering in Varane’s and Maguire’s ears, but I don’t think it’s that he needs the captain’s armband to be a leader, he leads by example anyway. He did when he was at United the first time it’s just now he’s being more vocal with it.”
Red Devils fans would surely love to see a legend like Ronaldo taking charge of their side at some point in the future, but the next 18 months is perhaps a bit ambitious!
Ronaldo is showing he still has plenty of time left in his playing career, for one thing, and he’d surely need a bit more in the way of qualifications and experience if was to step into a job as big as this one.