Cristiano Ronaldo received the captain’s armband for Manchester United’s Premier League game against Wolves on January 3, 2022, the first time he has served as the club’s captain since 2008.
Red Devils regular captain Harry Maguire was left out of the team, and manager Ralf Rangnick noted a chest injury that forced him to miss.
So it was up to the Portugal international to lead Rangnick’s team to the Old Trafford match for the first time since he returned to the club in the summer of 2021.
Rangnick made it clear that it was Ronaldo or David De Gea and opted for their top scorer:
???? “He’s the most experienced player overall. The choice was either David de Gea or him.”
Ralf Rangnick explains why Cristiano Ronaldo was named Manchester United captain with Harry Maguire injured pic.twitter.com/nxTm025gf9
– Daily football (@footballdaily) January 3, 2022
The last time Ronaldo was captain of Man United?
Ronaldo last received the Manchester United bracelet on March 19, 2008, for a Premier League match against Bolton Wanderers at Old Trafford, a match won by the Red Devils 2-0.
Sir Alex Ferguson was still a coach and asked Ronaldo to replace veteran Wales regular captain Ryan Giggs, who was on the bench alongside Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand.
The Portuguese superstar scored both goals in the comfortable 2-0 home win in full captain form, breaking the record for goals by Manchester United legend George Best midfielder in a single season.
Bolton’s defeat lifted the Red Devils within three points of Arsenal to the top of the Premier League table with eight games remaining on the campaign and Man United ultimately won that season’s Premier League title.
Phil Jones makes Man United return
The absence of center-backs Harry Maguire, Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof against the Wolves saw Phil Jones make his first appearance with the senior team since January 2020.
The defender has been out of action due to a knee injury and has been playing for the U23 squad as he worked to get back in shape.
“He was extremely professional the whole time, even when he wasn’t on the team,” Rangnick told MUTV of Jones.
“We knew since last night that our other two centers that played against Burnley were out, so for me it was the logical choice.
“Victor was still positive [for COVID-19], so it was clear from yesterday that it would not be available. Harry received a blow to the chest against Burnley; We hoped it was okay, but yesterday I was trying and it was not possible. He was in too much pain even when he was standing up, he couldn’t play. “