- Portuguese pushed for summer transfer
- Forced to remain at Old Trafford
- Has been quiet on his plans and performances
WHAT HAPPENED? The five-time Ballon d’Or winner took the Red Devils’ armband for a 3-1 Premier League defeat at Aston Villa, but did not take on media duties afterwards. Little has been heard from the 37-year-old since he made a push for the exits at Old Trafford over the summer, with a lack of clarity regarding his plans and current state of mind leading Neville to ask more questions of an all-time great.
WHAT THEY SAID: The former United defender has told The Overlap of a man that tends to only push messages out on social media: “I think he should actually speak, no one’s heard him speak for six months, we don’t hear from him. I think the reason why I said previously that Manchester United would be better without him and that he would be better without Manchester United was I expect so much of him because I played with him for six years. You take ownership of what happened. You don’t leave it to other people to answer your stuff for you.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Neville added on Ronaldo failing to front up after a disappointing display against Villa: “He went out as the captain of Manchester United and the team lost. Your job is to speak at the end of the match. I’ve been there in that position. If you win, the player who scored the goal or the star man goes out and speaks. If you lose, it’s your goalkeeper, it’s your centre-back or it’s your captain. Why did we not hear from him? He should have been there to say, ‘this is what we did wrong today, we’re going to work hard for next week and we’re going to be ready for the next game’.”
IN THREE PHOTOS:Getty Images
WHAT NEXT? Ronaldo has made plenty of unwanted headlines in 2022-23, with his efforts to force a transfer followed by regular spells on the bench, refusal to enter the field as a substitute and just three goals through 16 appearances in all competitions – although one of those did take him to 700 at club level.