Cristiano Ronaldo looks “even worse” than first thought when compared to a Liverpool star who has done what the Man Utd icon hasn’t in his late-career, per one observer.
Ronaldo has all but confirmed his Manchester United career is over. The Portuguese, 37, took aim at many elements of his employers in an explosive interview with Talk TV and didn’t hold back when blasting former teammates like Gary Neville and Wayne Rooney.
His outburst about having no respect for Erik ten Hag predictably went down like a lead balloon with the United boss.
As such, the Dutchman convened a meeting with the club’s hierarchy on Monday and let it be known he will never select Ronaldo again.
A January exit – either on a free transfer or free agent if his contract is torn up – looks to be on the cards.
If Ronaldo has kicked his last ball in a United shirt, fans and his colleagues alike will not look back fondly on his second stint at the club.
Even before his destructive interview, he’d been reprimanded twice by Ten Hag. Ronaldo left early during a pre-season friendly against Rayo Vallecano and later refused to come on as a substitute against Tottenham.
Ronaldo was also handed a police caution following an incident in which he slapped a mobile phone out of a young Everton fan’s hand.
Ronaldo has cultivated a reputation over the years as the ultimate professional and someone who is incredibly dedicated to honing his craft. However, it’s fair to say his professionalism has deserted him as his career winds down.
Liverpool favourite shows Ronaldo how it’s done
In contrast, Liverpool’s James Milner, also in his late 30s, continues to be commended for his leadership – both on and off the field.
Milner remains a favourite of Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and recently made his 600th Premier League appearance. He now trails just Frank Lampard (609), Ryan Giggs (632) and Gareth Barry (653) in the all-time chart.
Milner remains a vital member of Klopp’s squad despite his advancing years given his selfless and tireless service. Indeed, his lack of ego ensures he’s content with reduced minutes in all manner of positions if it helps the team at large.
Now, speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, former Brighton striker, Glenn Murray, claimed a comparison between Milner and Ronaldo makes the latter look “even worse” than first thought.
Ronaldo antics will hinder future options – Murray
Explaining why, Murray said: “It makes Ronaldo look even worse leading into this story, doesn’t it?”
“600 appearances, everything good you can say about James Milner.
“I was reading something about an evaluation when he was 12, so it was in 1998, and even then, it said ‘natural leader, sets good examples, a great attitude and very confident’. 24 years later, you can actually say exactly the same about him.
“For me, we question Cristiano Ronaldo about not evolving as you demise as a footballer, which is natural as a footballer.
“[Milner], for me, has evolved through a massive change in football. Technically, tactically and physically.
“But also you can start to see him nurture people around him and that is the right way to end a football career, not that it is at the end yet – I think his whole demeanour opens up a lot of options for him.
“But whereas what we say with Ronaldo, it has closed a lot of doors on him. No-one wants to take him when you act like that.
“Milner, week in and week out, he does as he is told. He is a team player. Why wouldn’t you take him on to drop those pearls of wisdom in the team around him?”