'Why I criticised Ronaldo at Manchester United' — Gary Neville

Gary Neville and Cristiano Ronaldo | Imago

'Why I criticised Ronaldo at Manchester United' — Gary Neville

Ayoola Kelechi 20:38 - 29.09.2023

Manchester United legend Gary Neville has said he hopes "his favourite player" Cristiano Ronaldo does not hold a grudge against him after

Ex-Manchester United defender Gary Neville has opened up about his criticism of club legend Cristiano Ronaldo during his second spell with the club, giving reasons for his tough love during that period. 

Neville explains Ronaldo criticism

Ronaldo and Neville played together during the Portuguese’s first spell in Manchester, but that never stopped the former right-back from tearing into the former Real Madrid superstar whenever he stepped out of line. 

Neville was asked about Ronaldo’s performance in his second Manchester United spell, and he replied, “I think he did very well in terms of goals. He has a character and a personality in which he does not accept second parts. 

Gary Neville and Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United | Imago
Gary Neville and Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United | Imago

The ex-Manchester United defender also spoke about his constant criticism of Ronaldo as a Sky Sports pundit, saying, “I criticised him because my opinion is that, when you are a leader in the locker room and you are a leader in world football, there are different ways of teaching, different ways of mentoring, and different ways of coaching the younger players on the team who are not at your level. 

Neville hoping for Ronaldo’s understanding

Neville also explained that his criticism of Ronaldo was borne out of his expectations for the superstar, whom he believes should have dealt with his younger colleagues better. 

“I think Cristiano should have modified and adapted his leadership style at United to the players in the locker room who needed mentoring, training and levelling up, Neville said.” 

“I love Cristiano, he probably doesn't love me for what I said, but I would like to think that in 5-10 years he will understand that my comments came from a good place.” 

Portugal and Al-Nassr forward Cristiano Ronaldo || Credit: Getty image
Portugal and Al-Nassr forward Cristiano Ronaldo || Credit: Getty image

The former England international was insistent that his criticism came from a good place and he hoped that Ronaldo would not hold his comments against him. 

“I wanted him to understand that when you get to 35/36, the younger players in the locker room and the less talented players rely on you to take them with you and that there are different ways to be a mentor, a coach, and a father in some ways, Neville added. 

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“He is still my favourite player of all time and the one I like the most when I talk about who is the greatest of all time. I know that many people would say Messi, but I love Cristiano,” Neville concluded. 

Ronaldo’s second stint with Manchester United ended with the Portugal international slating the club in a public interview before 

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