‘Class always comes’ - Man Utd legend lauds Cristiano Ronaldo after Everton win

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand hails Cristiano Ronaldo after the 2-1 win at Everton

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand believes Cristiano Ronaldo put his doubters ‘in their place’ as his landmark strike gave his side a 2-1 win at Everton.

The Portugal international has been the subject of constant speculation throughout the summer and into the early months of the season as his second spell at Old Trafford looked to be coming to an end.

But the former Real Madrid star remained at the club and showed why he will continue to be a big part of Erik ten Hag’s squad after he scored the 700th league goal of a sparkling career to give the Red Devils a hard-earned 2-1 win at Goodison Park.

Speaking after the game, Ferdinand told BT Sport: “It’s huge, we mentioned before the game that this game was pivotal in terms of them being able to carry themselves forward after what had gone on against Man City.

“That man in your picture there [Ronaldo], class always comes and rises at the end of the day.  Yes, he would have been disappointed not playing and he will be talk of the town.  Seven hundred goals, today it is a decisive one, the match-winner, if anyone was doubting that, he’s definitely put them in their place.”

Ferdinand’s former England team-mate Joe Cole also refuted suggestions that Ronaldo had become a problem for United and stressed that his side had shown ‘a lot of personality’ after accusations they lacked character in last weekend’s derby defeat at the hands of Manchester City.

“Of course, he’s not the problem,” said Cole. “He’s a professional, I think he’s handled it excellently.  You judge a player by what he does on the pitch, when he’s coming off the bench, he does what Ronaldo does.  He’s stretching teams, he’s scoring goals, he’s making things happen.

“I just think about football, it’s so fleeting, this group of players had their integrity and professionalism questioned last week in the derby.  But the last five minutes showed a lot of personality, a lot of character. Off the bench, [Raphael] Varane, three important headers.  They’ve stuck together, so that’s massive for Manchester United.”