Erik ten Hag explains why he called Cristiano Ronaldo a ‘giant’, reacts to Manchester United missing Champions League

Incoming Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has explained why he described Cristiano Ronaldo as a ‘giant’ and reacted to United’s failure to qualify for the Champions League.

Ten Hag has confirmed he would arrive at Manchester on Monday in a bid to make an early start on his new job as the manager at Old Trafford.

And the Ajax manager has already heaped praise on some of United’s current players, hailing them as ‘good players’ but singled out Cristiano Ronaldo and hailed him as a ‘giant’.

The 52-year-old manager has explained why he named the Portuguese star as a ‘giant’, with many outlet claiming that indicates the Dutchman wants to work with the 37-year-old at United ahead of next season.

Erik ten Hag on Man Utd: “The detailed analysis still has to begin, I still have to work with the team, but let me be clear that at United there are a lot of good players around. We have to make them function as a team but definitely Ronaldo, he is a giant.’

Speaking to De Telegraaf, the Dutchman explained further: “Ronaldo is a giant, because of what he’s already shown and I think he’s still very ambitious.

Erik ten Hag hails Cristiano Ronaldo as a 'giant' because he's ambitious
Erik ten Hag hails Cristiano Ronaldo as a ‘giant’ because he’s ambitious

“Of course I would like to keep him. He’s been very important to Manchester United this year and can produce great statistics.”

Having qualified for the Champions League three times in a row, Manchester United will miss out on the competition after enduring what many have described as a difficult season.

Erik ten Hag admits he would incredibly miss the Champions League next season but admits that the Premier League competition would make up for the loss.

“Painful for United, but also for me,” Tne Hag added. “It’s a competition I’m gonna miss incredibly. But working in the Premier League makes up for a lot.”

United will confirm next weekend whether they would qualify for the Europa League or Europa Conference League competition when they play visitors to Crystal Palace.