Cristiano Ronaldo is famous for being one of the best penalty takers in football history.
At the time of writing, Ronaldo has scored 139 penalties across all the competitions he’s played in for club and country, which is comfortably more than any other footballer in the 21st century.
For the record, his eternal rival Lionel Messi has rippled the back of the net 101 times from the spot as a professional.
Ronaldo’s unrivalled experience from 12 yards made the decision to allow Bruno Fernandes to take an injury-time penalty in United’s 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa last weekend all the more bizarre.
Yes, the midfielder has been prolific in that regard since joining the Red Devils in January 2020, but when Ronaldo is available, he simply has to be first-choice.
Not only is the 36-year-old superstar ridiculously good at taking penalties, he’s also immune to pressure.
Fernandes buckled under the weight of expectation versus Villa, the former Sporting Lisbon man firing the ball into Row Z after some amusing antics from Emiliano Martinez.
Would Ronaldo have done the same? We seriously doubt that, especially when you analyse footage of the icon in the build-up to his famous last-minute penalty for Real Madrid against Juventus in the 2017/18 Champions League.
That night, Michael Oliver awarded the Spanish side a controversial injury-time spot kick, with Gianluigi Buffon sent off for his furious reaction to the referee’s call.
It was chaos on the pitch for a good few minutes, with Juve players attempting to do all they could to put Ronaldo off and avoid elimination.
But the leading scorer in men’s international football kept his cool completely, blocked out all distractions and thumped the ball into the back of the net to save Real Madrid.
Take a look at the brilliant footage highlighting Ronaldo’s immunity to pressure here…
Video: Ronaldo feeling pressure? Not likely!
Ronaldo’s on-pitch mentality really is the definition of ‘elite’.
There isn’t another footballer on the planet – or perhaps in history – you’d want more in that kind of situation.
He lives for the big occasion and thrives in an atmosphere where most other players would wilt.
That’s why Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would be wise to make Ronaldo United’s penalty taker for the remainder of the 2021/22 season and beyond.