Cristiano Ronaldo has been named Manchester United captain for their Premier League clash against Aston Villa, just weeks after he refused to play for the club.

For the first time since January, the 37-year-old forward will lead his side out of the tunnel on Sunday afternoon – a scenario that seemed almost impossible last month.

He was not involved in United’s clash with Chelsea the following Saturday and it looked like his United career was all but over.

But now, weeks after Ten Hag said he would ‘deal’ with the situation the following morning after the Spurs result, Ronaldo has been handed the captain’s armband for Sunday’s trip to Villa Park.

Ahead of kick-off, United manager Ten Hag explained his decision.

“We have more leaders, Harry is on the bench, Bruno is suspended, you take the player who has the leadership,” he said.

“The goalie is often far away from the situations, especially in the opponent’s half and we want to play in the opponent’s half. Casemiro is not speaking full English language yet, then you come to Cristiano, he is doing really (well) the last two games, I hope he keeps that process going.

“When you are captain and leader you have to set an example and that is what I expect from him — he is an important part of the squad, we are happy with him and now he has to taken even more of the leader role.”

Here’s how fans have reacted to the news.

One said: “Some will disagree but after Ronaldo refusing to play this season there’s no way he should be wearing the captain armband,” while another commented: “Ronaldo the captain. Ten Hag has seen the light.”

A third wrote: “You can’t be captaining Cristiano Ronaldo after what he’s done recently. Refusing to come on as a substitute one week and then being made captain a couple of weeks later.”

He wrote: “As I’ve always done throughout my career, I try to live and play respectfully towards my colleagues, my adversaries and my coaches,” the statement reads. “That hasn’t changed. I haven’t changed. I’m the same person and the same professional that I’ve been for the last 20 years playing elite football, and respect has always played a very important role in my decision making process.

“I started very young, the older and most experienced players examples were always very important to me. Therefore, later on, I’ve always tried to set the example myself for the youngsters that grew in all the teams that I’ve represented. Unfortunately that’s not always possible and sometimes the heat of the moment get’s the best of us.

“Right now, I just feel that I have to keep working hard in Carrington, support my teammates and be ready for everything in any given game. Giving in to the pressure is not an option. It never was. This is Manchester United, and united we must stand. Soon we’ll be together again.”

Image credit: AlamyThoughts on Ten Hag’s decision to give his most experienced player the captain’s armband on Sunday? The right call?

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