Cristiano Ronaldo is still leading one Europa League statistic despite leaving Man Utd in November


Cristiano Ronaldo is still leading one Europa League statistic despite leaving Man Utd in November

Cristiano Ronaldo may have left Manchester United - and European football - in November, but he still leads one particular statistic in the Europa League.

Ronaldo was still contracted to United during the group stage of the competition, where he featured heavily.

The 38-year-old started all six matches, playing 90 minutes in five of those games. He scored two goals and provided two assists as United narrowly missed out on top spot to Real Sociedad on goal difference.

That meant Erik ten Hag's side had to play a two-legged play-off against Barcelona last month to progress to the last 16. Having already left the club by that stage, Ronaldo was not involved.

He has scored eight goals in six league games for new club Al Nassr, and despite the season already being 19 games in, he is only five goals behind the Saudi Pro League's leading scorer, Anderson Talisca.

In Ronaldo's absence, United secured an aggregate victory over Barca, and now take on fellow Spanish side Real Betis in the last 16.

Heading into the upcoming round of fixtures, however, the Portugal legend still holds top spot in one statistic.

Ronaldo leads Europa League statistic despite Man Utd exit

As posted by the official Manchester United website, Ronaldo took 30 shots on goal during the group stage of the Europa League, which remains more than any other player in the competition.

But he is not the top scorer, with Marcus Rashford's four goals giving him that joint accolade alongside Braga's Vitinha, Monaco's Wissam Ben Yedder and Feyenoord's Santiago Gimenez. Of the four, only Rashford and Gimenez remain in the competition.

Midfielder Casemiro leads the charts when it comes to successful blocks (19), while defender Lisandro Martinez has delivered more passes into the final third (54) than any other player this season.

Meanwhile, former United striker Louis Saha believes that if he was still at the club, Ronaldo could have helped to avoid the 7-0 scoreline in the Red Devils' defeat at Liverpool on Sunday.

Speaking to, he said: "Ronaldo's departure marked a fresh start at United, and it allowed Ten Hag a blank page to draw upon, which has allowed him to establish a winning mentality at the club.

"Now that the club's mindset has improved, I think they'd be doing even better if they had Cristiano up top.

"Of course, it's hard to know for sure, but when I see United losing 7-0 to Liverpool, I can only think that Cristiano could have helped."

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