Christian Eriksen said he was “sad” that Cristiano Ronaldo is no longer with Manchester United but insisted that the club can push on without one of the biggest names in their history.
“We are sad that Ronaldo is not part of it,” said Eriksen following United’s 3-0 win over Nottingham Forest on Tuesday, their first match since the controversial departure of the Portuguese star.
“His legacy and his name at any club is special. For me to be fortunate to play with him in my career was very nice.”
Ronaldo’s rollercoaster second spell at Old Trafford came to an end during the World Cup break after an explosive interview in which he took aim at new manager Erik ten Hag and the club’s owners.
On the field, his influence had already waned since the Dutch coach took charge at the start of the season.
And there was no sense he was missed on Tuesday as goals from the in-form Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Fred saw United overpower Forest and close on the top four.
“The football goes on,” said Eriksen. “You feel that the next game after, people will forget what it was like before and now our focus is really like he (Ronaldo) is not here.”
The Denmark midfielder added: “The atmosphere is good, we have a lot of people coming back from the World Cup, the last guys are coming back and everyone is coming together.”
Rashford has now scored eight goals in 13 games for club and country, with Eriksen glad the 25-year-old has maintained the form he showed for England at the World Cup.
“He played very well. Luckily I haven’t been on the pitch where he has played a bad game yet,” said Eriksen, with the Red Devils now just a point off a Champions League spot and a game in hand over fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur.
“He is looking sharp and confident and you can feel that when he is going forward.
“You feel that in the stadium and you feel that with him. It is a nice thing and I hope he keeps it going.
“You can see that he came back pretty confident. I didn’t see much of his games, of course, but he came back in good shape and luckily he has taken that into United.”
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