Man Utd clear on Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes penalty situation

Fernandes is United’s designated penalty taker but Ronaldo gets priority on international duty and will no doubt be keen to maximise his opportunities for goals

Video LoadingVideo UnavailableClick to playTap to playThe video will auto-play soon8CancelPlay nowSolskjaer confirms Cristiano Ronaldo will feature against NewcastleByDarren WellsDigital Football Writer

  • 09:06, 11 Sep 2021
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has insisted there is no issue amongst his Manchester United players over who their designated penalty taker will be, as the final decision rests with him.

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The arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo has raised the suggestion of whether Bruno Fernandes will step aside from spot kick duties to allow the five-time Ballon d'Or winner to take them ahead of him.

But Fernandes has an impressive record from 12 yards, registering a near 100% record for United thus far with his unusual hop technique.

The midfielder has allowed Marcus Rashford to step up instead of him previously, and he would likely do the same if Ronaldo has a chance to crown his second debut with a goal against Newcastle on Saturday.

Rows between team-mates has been an increasingly common theme in the Premier League where penalties are concerned, but Solskjaer insists there will not be any problems between his own players.

Bruno Fernandes has a superb record from the spot for United
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Image:
Getty Images)

Asked whether Ronaldo would be taking the lead on penalties over Fernandes going forward, the United boss replied: "I knew that question was going to come. And, of course, I’ve had a chat with the two of them.

"We’ve got two players there that I’d trust with my life to put a penalty away and that’s a great position to be in.

"They’ll know via the conversations we’ve had and the conversations we’ll have before the games how we’re going to solve this. It’s going to be my decision what’ll happen. The two of them will keep on doing what they do when they’re asked to take the penalties."

Rashford is currently out injured till at least next month, but it seems the forward remains part of Solskjaer's thinking from the spot.

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He added: "I’ve got Cristiano, Bruno, Marcus [Rashford], I’ve got players I trust to score every time they step up to take a penalty. I’ve had this conversation and they know my position on it. They know that I decide who is going to shoot the penalty if we get one.

"That’s not going to cause an issue. We’re here to win together. It’s not about my numbers or your numbers. It’s about us as a team and the decision is going to be mine."

While Fernandes is the current taker for United, his latest comments suggest he would not have a great issue with relinquishing penalty responsibilities, so long as he keeps his role on set pieces outside the box.

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“I really like free-kicks," he told BBC Sport. “For me personally, free-kicks are something I practice and I want to get the reward of scoring. I prefer free-kicks over penalties.”

And while Solskjaer insists it is his decision, former United defender Rio Ferdinand feels it is one that is only going one way.

"He [Ronaldo] takes the penalties, 100 per cent. They agree to give him the penalties but I think free-kicks around the box, Bruno’s just wiping the ball and putting it down.

"I think Bruno sees the bigger picture, that this guy can get us over the line to win us trophies.

"If that means my percentage of goal involvements goes down but he gets his hands on a big trophy, he’d take that all day long."

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