“He’s not getting any younger” – Pablo Zabaleta explains what Cristiano Ronaldo must now start to focus on at Manchester United

Former Premier League defender Pablo Zabaleta believes Cristiano Ronaldo should come to terms with the fact that he is unlikely to start regularly for Manchester United.

A lot has been said about Cristiano Ronaldo and his Manchester United future in recent months. It all started when the Premier League giants failed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League.

The Red Devils’ failure to secure Champions League qualification unsettled Ronaldo in the summer. He even asked the club to allow him to leave if they received a suitable offer.

Jorge Mendes, though, struggled to find takers for his client, while the Old Trafford outfit maintained that he will not be allowed to leave. The 37-year-old has thus been forced to stay in Manchester.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has found his playing time limited under Erik ten Hag this season. He has started in just one of the Red Devils’ six Premier League matches so far.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s attitude has been very impressive even when he’s not starting. Applauds from the bench when we score and so hungry to score/contribute when he comes on.No matter what you think, he always wants the best for Man Utd. https://t.co/8rz8bhUPC8

Zabaleta has now insisted that Ronaldo will not be able to play as much as he wants considering his 37 years old. The former Manchester City right-back thus advised the player to be a mentor to the younger players at Manchester United rather than focusing on game time. He said on ESPN FC:

“I would like Cristiano Ronaldo to be a mentor for the young players. Imagine if you have players like [Jadon] Sancho, [Marcus] Rashford, Antony, all these guys and you have Cristiano coming to you and saying you have done this and that well, you have to understand your position.”

“He’s not getting any younger, he can teach the young lads a lot of things and that would be nice to see. I know his personality, he’s been a top player, always wants to play but I think at some point you must accept that you can’t play every single game and you have to support the young players and wish them well.”

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United deal expires next summer

Cristiano Ronaldo sealed a sensational return to Manchester United last summer. He put pen to paper on a two-year deal with the Premier League giants, who he left for Real Madrid in 2009.

The 37-year-old thus has his contract with the Red Devils expiring at the end of the current season. However, there is also an option to extend the deal by another 12 months that would see him stay at the club until 2024.

However, it remains to be seen if Ronaldo will be at Old Trafford in two years’ time.

Edited by Dakir Mohammed Thanveer

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