Ferdinand: Bruno should let Ronaldo take penalties but NOT free-kicks

Don’t let Cristiano take the free-kicks! Rio Ferdinand says Bruno Fernandes should hand over Manchester United penalty duties to new team-mate Ronaldo… but SHOULDN’T allow him on all set-pieces (and his record shows why)

  • Cristiano Ronaldo rejoined Man United in a £19.8m deal after his Juventus exit 
  • Rio Ferdinand says Bruno Fernandes should let Ronaldo take penalties at United
  • Fernandes has scored 21 penalties for the Red Devils and two free-kicks
  • Ronaldo has a poor free-kick record with just one goal from his last 70 attempts

Rio Ferdinand believes Bruno Fernandes should give up penalty-taking duties to Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United but not let the latter take free-kicks. 

Portuguese forward Ronaldo was officially confirmed as a United player on Tuesday after the Red Devils agreed a £19.8million deal with Juventus for the 36-year-old. 

Fernandes is currently United’s set-piece specialist and has scored 21 penalties and two free-kicks for the club since joining at the start of 2020, but Ferdinand says spot kick duty should return to former team-mate Ronaldo. 

Rio Ferdinand says Bruno Fernandes (right) should let Cristiano Ronald (left) take penalties at Manchester United this season

Ronaldo completed a £19.8million return to United on Tuesday after his exit from Juventus 

The ex-United defender told his FIVE podcast: ‘I think Bruno gives up penalties but doesn’t relinquish free-kicks and corners. The free-kicks around the box, he’s going to be on them I think. I think his record demands that he should do that.

‘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. 

Fernandes has scored two free-kicks in competitive matches for United since joining in 2020

The Portuguese midfielder also has scored 21 spot kicks for the Red Devils, missing just once

‘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.’ 

Ronaldo has endured a terrible recent record from free-kicks in recent years, scoring just one direct effort from that type of dead ball situation in over 70 attempts during his three years at Juventus. 

His penalty record for the Turin club was better, scoring 27 out of his 32 penalties for the Italian giants. 

Ronaldo (left) endured a horrendous free-kick record at Juventus with one goal from 70 tries

Ronaldo has a much better record than the spot than free-kicks, scoring 139 career penalties

Fernandes, meanwhile, has scored two direct free-kicks for United – against Bournemouth and Liverpool – while he also found the net in a similar fashion in a pre-season thrashing of Everton earlier this month. 

The 26-year-old has also scored 21 penalties for the club, missing just one away at Newcastle last season.

The midfielder is on course to break Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s club record of 28 successful penalties for the Old Trafford club, with Wayne Rooney just behind the Dutch striker on 27. 

Ronaldo, meanwhile, managed to score 16 penalties for United in his first spell at the club between 2003 and 2009, missing just three during his first stint at the club. 


Cristiano Ronaldo for Juventus (2018-2021)

Free-Kick goals: 1

Penalties Scored: 27

Penalties Missed: 5

Bruno Fernandes for Manchester United (2020-present)

Free-kick goals: 2

Penalties Scored: 21

Penalties Missed: 1

Cristiano Ronaldo All-Time Record

Free-kick goals: 48

Penalties Scored: 139

Penalties Missed: 27

Bruno Fernandes All-Time Record

Free-kick goals: 2

Penalties Scored: 41

Penalties Missed: 3


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