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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Commentary: Cristiano Ronaldo’s time is over

Cristiano Ronaldo sharply criticizes his club Manchester United. The multiple world footballer only underlines that his time is long gone. With the Red Devils, the question remains what could have been if his selfishness hadn’t stood in the way. A comment.

Five-time Champions League winner, five-time world footballer, European champion – but currently no more than a bench player who behaves like a small child: Cristiano Ronaldo has the best days of his career behind him. You don’t have to have followed Manchester United to see that. His explosive interview is enough to recognize that a footballer is speaking who clearly lives in the past.

Where “accounting” is written on it, it doesn’t always contain accounting. In this case, however, the Portuguese really took a hard stance on Manchester United. In an interview with the Sun gave Ronaldo a deep look. “I haven’t seen any development at the club since Sir Alex (Ferguson; editor’s note) left,” he said. “Nothing has changed.”

But ironically, the 37-year-old himself is the best argument for his own thesis. An overpriced, aging professional who has long past his prime returns to the Red Devils and fails to be the savior they had hoped for. That didn’t come as a surprise.

Even at Juventus Turin, Ronaldo was no longer the player he once was. But he still claimed to be the one around whom all the cogs of the club turn. Proponents of the superstar justifiably argue with the bare numbers. For Juve he scored 101 times in 134 games and prepared 22 more goals. In his second tenure at Manchester United, he has played 54 competitive games and has 27 goals and five assists.

ManUnited will be more successful without Cristiano Ronaldo

It’s not so much about his undisputed quality of scoring goals, though. With increasing age and declining performance, Ronaldo has not managed to adapt himself and his game. The striker wants to be the center of all attacks and is almost personally offended when the balls don’t come to him. At the same time, he hardly participates in pressing against the ball. Ronaldo still considers himself a top 10 player in the world and is acting accordingly. But he isn’t anymore.

In the past, when he played with Lionel Messi at a different level than any other footballer in the world, he could allow himself privileges. His teams accepted that because they saw his incredible output on offense as a reward for their hard work. This effect no longer exists.

Erik ten Hag and Manchester United will be more successful in the medium term if Ronaldo is not on the pitch. Because then they act as a team and are less predictable. All players participate in the pressing, all consider themselves an equal part of the team.

Cristiano Ronaldo can no longer be taken seriously

It is no coincidence that there are no longer any top clubs interested in signing Ronaldo. Nobody wants a player who cannot realistically assess the present and overestimates himself immensely. At United he was already a legend before he arrived. Many of his followers will probably forgive him for this theatre. Nevertheless, he scratches violently at his own monument.

Instead of behaving like a stubborn child, with a little more humility and realism Ronaldo could have actively worked to get his heart club back on track. His experience, the quality he still has, his status with many of his peers – all of that could be so valuable to Manchester. But Ronaldo chose selfishness.

Ten Hag did everything right with the suspension a few weeks ago. He sent a clear signal. The Dutchman now has to build on that. Nobody is bigger than the club. When Ronaldo criticizes a lack of respect, it’s funny at best given the show he’s been putting on since the summer. You can no longer take him seriously.

Cristiano Ronaldo: performance data at Manchester United since his return

contest games Gates assists
premier league 40 19 3

FA Cup

1
Champions League 7 6
Europe League 6 2 2
In total 54 27 5



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