6th November, 2022
Erik ten Hag handed Cristiano Ronaldo the captain’s armband for Manchester United’s clash with Aston Villa on Sunday.
Ronaldo’s future at United remains far from certain, with the 37-year-old not a guaranteed starter under Ten Hag.
However, 17 days on from storming down the tunnel after being an unused substitute against Tottenham – an act that saw him left out against Chelsea on October 22 – Ronaldo was given the armband for the game at Villa Park.
Against no side has Ronaldo scored more Premier League goals than he has against Villa (eight).
United’s club captain Harry Maguire was named on the bench, with Victor Lindelof and Lisandro Martinez preferred to the England international in the centre of defence.
Ronaldo teed up Alejandro Garnacho’s winner against Real Sociedad in the Europa League on Thursday, and the youngster was rewarded with his first Premier League start.
Donny van de Beek was also named in United’s starting XI for the first time in the league, while new Villa boss Unai Emery made two changes to the side that was thrashed 4-0 by Newcastle United last time out.