Manchester United legend Roy Keane has heaped praise on Cristiano Ronaldo after his hat-trick against Tottenham Hotspur.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored two goals in the first half and another in the second to lead Manchester United to a crucial 3-2 victory over Tottenham at Old Trafford on Saturday. Spurs equalised twice. but Ronaldo was at hand to restore the Red Devils’ lead every time.

And his former teammate, Roy Keane, was left highly impressed with Ronaldo’s performance, claiming that the anger of the derby loss to Manchester City spurred him on against the Lilywhites. The former Manchester United captain was also left puzzled at the consensus that Ronaldo has been detrimental to the team’s gameplay this season.

“Ronaldo looked angry today, he played with a lot of aggression. He’s obviously upset with whatever happened last week, but he showed today what we have seen over the years. The guy’s a genius; his three goals were fantastic. He brings so much to the team, why people think he cannot bring goals or value,” Keane told Sky Sports.

Keane’s former teammate at Manchester United, Gary Neville, also weighed in on Ronaldo’s hat-trick. “The belief Ronaldo has in himself. He is in the twilight of his career, but he is absolutely sensational, a superstar of the modern game, one of the greatest of all time, and the greatest goalscorer of all time,” he said.

“Manchester United are not very good, I have to say. But there are moments in the game that are magical. The fans are buzzing because they’ve seen Ronaldo, they feel like they’ve seen something special,” Neville added on Sky Sports.

Ronaldo has not quite enjoyed his return to Old Trafford but has still scored 18 goals across competitions in 32 appearances. His form in 2022 had been suspect as he had scored just once before the Spurs encounter. Manchester United faithful will hope that the Portuguese maverick has returned to form for the business end of the season with this hat-trick.

The 37-year-old has also been linked with a summer move away from Manchester United, with reports claiming that he could choose to leave if the club fail to qualify for next season’s Champions League. Whether Ronaldo stays on for another year to see through his contract with the club that expires in 2023 or chooses to move on remains to be seen.

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