Cristiano Ronaldo’s future remains a question mark. United legend Gary Neville is unsure if CR7 will play for the Red Devils next season.
After losing the Champions League against Atletico Madrid, one thing is certain: it will be Cristiano Ronaldo’s first season in 16 years without a title at club level. What on the one hand shows what a great career the Portuguese has had is on the other hand a sobering admission that the superstar’s much-celebrated return campaign has not paid off as hoped.
Ronaldo came last summer as the icing on the cake – after the transfers of Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho, people around Old Trafford were sure that with CR7 they had gotten the last little piece of the puzzle to fight for titles. But the reality is that United are likely to miss even the top four places – and thus Champions League qualification.
It is rumored that Ronaldo could switch again after just a year. In this context, the rumors in the English tabloids that the 37-year-old is causing a bad mood in the dressing room – his trip to Portugal before the Manchester derby, for example, is said not to have been well received by the team. Like I said: rumours. But where there is smoke, there is usually a fire nearby.
United legend Gary Neville agrees with the concerns and admits he’s not sure CR7 will or should stay beyond the season.
“I’m not sure. It also depends on who the new manager is and what project he has in mind,” the former defender told Sky Sports. “Does the new manager want to build a young team that is athletic and aggressive? Ronaldo can play in it – but if CR7 wants to play every week, which seems to be the case, then maybe the manager wants a fresh start [ohne Ronaldo]. He might want to have young players who can push a lot upfront and create a high level of play that way.”
Neville basically sees only one possibility for Ronaldo to stay: “If the new manager wants to play in a different way and can accept that he has a great goalscorer in the team who is basically the greatest goalscorer of all time”, according to the TV expert, “then there will be a position for Ronaldo.”
But even in this case, Neville believes Ronaldo has to make compromises. “He would have to accept that he doesn’t play every week and that there are moments when he’s on the bench. I think that’s the most important thing.”
Neville says he knows Ronaldo doesn’t take it well when he’s on the bench. “That’s basically a good thing because he’s obviously ambitious and wants to play every single game,” said the United legend. “But I’m undecided. And I’m not just undecided about whether the club want to keep him, but also whether Cristiano wants to stay at Manchester until he’s 38 or 39 at all.”
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