Cristiano Ronaldo Has Been Told To Retire After Hat-Trick vs Norwich City
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Garth Crooks believes Cristiano Ronaldo should retire from top European league football at the end of this season.
The Manchester United forward scored a hat-trick in Saturday's 3-2 win over Norwich City and it was the 50th of his club career.
Ronaldo turned 37 in February but sits on an impressive tally of 21 goals since returning to England. Crooks believes now is the time to step away before he becomes a shadow of his former self.
He wrote in his column for BBC Sport: "Scoring three or four hat-tricks in your professional career must be enormously gratifying, but to score your 50th club hat-trick is just off the scale.
"Ronaldo's second goal against Norwich was a glimpse of the player we saw 10 years ago, playing for Real Madrid.
"The movement and timing of his header was sheer brilliance. I made the point last week, in the Crooks of the Matter, that Ronaldo had been given a wonderful opportunity to retire from European league football this season at the top.
"Manchester United have provided him with that opportunity and I hope he takes it."
The five-time Ballon d'Or winner capitalised on a mistake in the Canaries backline to tap home his first, before powering in a header to make it 2-0.
Kieran Dowell handed Norwich a lifeline just before halftime and Teemu Pukki brought Dean Smith's men level shortly after the break.
Ronaldo stepped up to score his first free-kick since July 2020 to give United a vital win as they search for a place in this season's top four.
United have struggled for numbers up front this season, with Edinson Cavani injured and Mason Greenwood unavailable for selection.
It's seen Ronaldo carry the load up front and no other players has hit double figures.
Bruno Fernandes is the closest player to Ronaldo with nine goals this campaign.
Rumours suggested Ronaldo could look to leave Old Trafford for a second time if United failed to qualify for the Champions League.
Interim manager Ralf Rangnick was asked about Ronaldo's future post-match and he stressed it'll likely be down to the new manager.
Current Ajax coach Erik ten Hag is expected to become the Red Devils' new manager at the end of this season and Fabrizio Romano has claimed negotiations are ongoing.