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“Cristiano Ronaldo Is Not Getting Any Younger”: Marc Seagraves Ahead of Manchester United’s Champions League Tie With Atletico Madrid


Manchester United will face Atletico Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16 tie at the Wanda Metropolitano on Wednesday. All eyes will be on Cristiano Ronaldo as he boasts an excellent goal-scoring record against Atletico, especially in the Champions League. The last time Ronaldo faced Atletico, he scored a hat-trick in the colours of Juventus in the 2018-19 season. On being asked if the 37-year-old can repeat the same exploits against Atletico, former England defender Marc Seagraves said that despite his excellent record in the competition, Ronaldo isn’t “getting any younger”.

“His record is absolutely fantastic (in Champions League) but he is not getting any younger. The way Manchester United have performed, the form they are in, not even Ronaldo could lift them to the heights they wanted to achieve,” Seagraves told NDTV Sports during a media interaction organised by the Sony Sports Network.

Further during the interaction, Seagraves also spoke about Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone, who has been often criticised for his ultra-defensive approach, despite delivering the goods.

Despite agreeing that defending is an important aspect of the sport, Seagraves said that sometimes the manager needs to find the right balance between defence and attack.

“Well, we’ve lauded him for his defensive qualities. Football, as much as we don’t think it, is based on defending. If you’ve got good players, you’re in there for winning titles. I think he has been too defensive at times. But this dip (in form) might’ve made them realise that it’s not necessarily all about defending, you still have to go forward. He has got to get that balance right,” he added.

Both Manchester United and Atletico Madrid have struggled domestically this season, but Seagraves thinks that Simeone’s men have a slight edge over the Red Devils, considering that they’ll be playing the first leg at home.

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“With the advantage of playing at home against an inconsistent, or be it a very talented United team, they (Atletico Madrid) have the edge. But it’s going to be tight,” said Seagraves.

The UEFA Champions League 2021-22 (Round 16 – 1st Leg): Atletico vs Man. United – will be telecast live on the Sony Sports Network.

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