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Cristiano Ronaldo

‘Ronaldo had this attitude 10 years ago!’ - Roy Keane rubbishes suggestion ex-Man Utd team-mate makes sides worse

2:09 PM IST 09/12/22
Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal 2022 World Cup
Cristiano Ronaldo does not make teams worse and had the same attitude “10 years ago”, says Roy Keane, with the Portuguese icon merely getting older.
  • Portuguese superstar benched at 2022 World Cup
  • Released as a free agent by Manchester United
  • Facing questions of his value to collective causes

WHAT HAPPENED? Former Manchester United captain Keane once worked alongside Ronaldo at Old Trafford, with the prodigious talent taking his first steps towards superstardom at that time. The Irishman sees no difference in the personality of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner today to what he was when first starting out, with more questions being asked of him now as he can on longer conjure up moments of magic quite so frequently at 37 years of age.

WHAT THEY SAID: Keane has told Sky Bet after seeing Ronaldo dropped to the bench for Portugal’s last-16 encounter with Switzerland at the 2022 World Cup: “Are footballers supposed to be perfect? Cristiano Ronaldo had this attitude 10 years ago, but the following game he would score a hat trick, and he was 27 - everyone would forgive him. People say that he makes teams worse – Juventus haven’t done anything since he left them a couple of years ago.

“Against Switzerland, the Portugal manager made a correct decision to replace Ronaldo with someone who offered more mobility up front. He [Goncalo Ramos] scores a hat trick, and everyone looks straight to Ronaldo. I always thought there could be a chance that Ronaldo wouldn’t start a World Cup knockout game for Portugal – he’s 37!”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Ronaldo is currently without a club after seeing a second spell with United brought to a close when a lucrative contract was terminated, with there plenty of speculation to suggest that Saudi Arabia will be his next port of call.

IN TWO PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT? For now, Ronaldo is focused on trying to help Portugal to global glory in Qatar – with talk of unrest in that camp being played down – and Fernando Santos’ side will be in quarter-final action on Saturday when facing Morocco.