Cristiano Ronaldo’s form is so good United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is refusing to enter into any bets with the Portuguese winger about how many goals he’ll score this season.
Ferguson famously paid out at the end of the 2006/07 campaign after the Reds’ no.7 found the net 23 times, smashing the manager's 20-goal target to finish joint top scorer alongside Wayne Rooney.
This season Ronaldo has outdone himself once again, passing last term’s tally before January has even finished. All the talk now centres on George Best’s club record of 32 goals from midfield and whether 22-year-old Ronaldo can overtake the Irishman.
Sir Alex’s targets have undoubtedly provided added motivation in the past, but the United boss believes a place in the history books is incentive enough this time around.
“No way!” the Reds boss told Manchester United Radio when asked if money would change hands should Ronaldo surpass Best’s record. “Being a Scot, I value my money.”
Ronaldo took his season tally to 25 with a double against Tottenham last weekend, although neither goal is likely to feature in his career highlights reel. Not that his manager cared…
“The boy has been fantastic recently,” Sir Alex said. “Against Spurs he showed great composure in taking his penalty kick at what was an important time in the game. His second goal was a goalkeeping mistake but if you don’t shoot you don’t score. He was rewarded for that mentality."
Goals scored: Cristiano Ronaldo
2003/04 - 6
2004/05 - 9
2005/06 - 12
2006/07 - 23
2007/08 - 25*
* Up to 29 Jan 2008