Rio Ferdinand tells Man Utd how to utilise 'aggressive' Cristiano Ronaldo and expose Premier League defenders

RIO FERDINAND has warned Premier League defenders to sharpen up on stopping corners or Cristiano Ronaldo will punish them.

The Portuguese superstar celebrated his return to Manchester United with two goals in the 4-1 win over Newcastle on Saturday.


Despite both strikes coming in open-play, the 36-year-old is renowned for his heading ability and hang time.

Ferdinand claims he has spotted a weakness in the Prem defences getting organised when the ball is swung in during matches.

And the former United star has encouraged his old side to play to his old team-mate’s strengths.

Ferdinand, speaking on his YouTube channel, said: “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.

“(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.”

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Ferdinand continued: “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.”

Ronaldo and his United pals are currently preparing to begin their Champions League campaign away to Swiss outfit Young Boys this evening.

They return to domestic action with a trip to West Ham on Sunday.

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