- Portuguese superstar facing criticism
- Struggling for starts at club level
- Failed to secure summer transfer
WHAT HAPPENED? The five-time Ballon d’Or winner is now 37 years of age and failed to secure himself a transfer away from Old Trafford during the summer window despite pushing for a move and being linked with clubs from Spain, Germany and Saudi Arabia. Ronaldo is now struggling for starts at United, while also coming in for criticism at international level with Portugal, and Cassano believes the time has come for an all-time great to call it a day.
WHAT THEY SAID: The former Real Madrid and Italy forward has told the Muschio Selvaggio podcast: “At this point, Cristiano should love himself, do himself a favour and understand that, if he cannot reach a level, he must end his career. He has won everything, he has been a phenomenon. Now it’s time to retire.
“I have a lot of respect for CR7, but I don’t like him as a player. [Lionel] Messi is like [Diego] Maradona. He had to leave Argentina at the age of 14 and face serious physical problems, which speaks of sacrifices.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Ronaldo has started just one Premier League game for United this season, with only 207 minutes seen in total, and finds himself scratching around for game time in what is the final 12 months of his contract with the Red Devils.
IN THREE PHOTOS:Getty Images
WHAT NEXT FOR RONALDO? United, who have recovered from a slow start to the 2022-23 campaign to pick up four successive victories in the English top-flight, will be back in action on Sunday when taking in a derby date with arch-rivals Manchester City.