Cristiano Ronaldo: Sir Alex Ferguson told Khabib Nurmagomedov you always start your best player

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Sir Alex Ferguson has told former UFC fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should have started Cristiano Ronaldo in their 1-1 draw to Everton on Saturday.

Solskjaer, who made five changes to his team following Wednesday night’s dramatic 2-1 win over Villarreal in the Champions League, started both Ronaldo and Paul Pogba on the bench, much to the criticism of many pundits and former manager Sir Alex.

Despite going 1-0 up against the Toffees, a 65th-minute equaliser from Andros Townsend saw the Blues hold out to United, with Ronaldo coming on in the 57th-minute of the match.

Ferguson was videoed discussing the game with the former UFC lightweight champion at Old Trafford, and while Khabib praised United’s younger players, Ferguson seemed to disagree with Solskjaer’s tactics to leave Ronaldo on the bench.

Speaking to the former United manager, Khabib said: “These young guys versus a good team, they try to show their best performance.”

Ferguson responded: “Of course. But I also think that when they saw Ronaldo wasn’t playing.”

Khabib: “Yeah, but he came on in the second half.

Ferguson: “I know, but you should always start with your best player.”

Despite making his 200th Premier League appearance on Saturday, Ronaldo’s omission from the starting lineup meant that this was the first time the 36-year-old had come on from the bench for the Reds at Old Trafford since May 2007, notably when Ferguson was still in charge at the club.

Ferguson also said in the video that he was “okay now” when asked by the Russian fighter about his health and proceeded to jest with the fighter about his decision to retire from the UFC, saying: “Good idea! It was too many knocks.”

“Too much, too much. Now I’m tired of smashing people, no more I just like to enjoy,” Khabib responded and also admitted he would not be coming out of retirement for a rematch with Conor McGregor, calling the Irish fighter an “invalid opponent.”

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