Carrick calls for focus after emotional few days at Man Utd
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Manchester United could appoint Mauricio Pochettino as their new boss after sacking Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Sunday morning. Pochettino has been tipped to take charge at Old Trafford despite already having a job at Paris Saint-Germain.
Solskjaer was finally given his marching orders in the aftermath of the Red Devils’ 4-1 thumping at the hands of Watford.
United had already lost to Aston Villa, Leicester City, Liverpool and Manchester City in the Premier League this season and have now fallen to eighth in the table.
Pochettino will certainly have a tough task on his hands if he does take the United hotseat.
And he will need to rely on blockbuster forward Cristiano Ronaldo to produce the goods and help the team turn their season around.
But Ronaldo could give Pochettino a frosty welcome in Manchester after the former Tottenham boss branded Lionel Messi as the best player in the world.
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“He is the best player in the world – there is no doubt,” Pochettino said of Messi after his compatriot scored his first Ligue 1 goal for PSG on Saturday.
And back in 2015, the former defender made similar comments.
“Messi is this type of player, for me the best in the world today, better than Cristiano Ronaldo and he can decide a game,” said the 49-year-old.
“[Diego] Maradona, for my generation, is always a very special player. When I was a child Maradona was like a god.
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“It is difficult in your mind to change your view and say Messi is better or Ronaldo is better – but right now Messi is the best in the world.
“And if I didn’t coach Messi, I would still say Messi. I answer with my heart. I always say what I feel.”
Ronaldo was on the scoresheet on Tuesday night as United defeated Villarreal 2-0 in the Champions League to book their place in the knockout stages of the competition.
The Portugal international, who is regarded as one of the greatest players to ever play the game, has now scored in all five of his side’s European games this season.
Ronaldo’s quality has not been lost on Pochettino though, with the Argentine boss praising the 36-year-old ahead of Tottenham’s Champions League clash with Real Madrid in 2017.
“He’s a phenomenon,” Pochettino admitted. “In addition to his qualities as a professional, he is an example.
“He never tires of repeating that the secret is to work hard, to strive, to take care of himself. Every player should apply it.”
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