Home » Sources reveal both the good and bad influence of Cristiano Ronaldo at Man United

Sources reveal both the good and bad influence of Cristiano Ronaldo at Man United

by Red Billy

The effects of Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United have provoked a lot of debate this season, in particular, whether his presence has been disruptive to the rest of the team.

There has been talk of dressing room disharmony and cliques and the player himself has gone on record to criticise younger players.

A tantrum when being substituted against Brentford on Wednesday night did little to douse the flames of controversy.

However, according to The Athletic, sources say the 36-year-old is not a problem at all at Old Trafford, at least where coaching staff are concerned.

‘One coach recently confided that Ronaldo is a “class act” and argued that the player is keeping up his end of the bargain. “It’s the other ones who aren’t,” the source concluded.’

The outlet goes on to say, however, that there may be a disconnect in his relationship with some of his teammates.

‘The Athletic has … been told that several of United’s younger players feel Ronaldo can be difficult to approach, with sources suggesting [Edinson] Cavani, even in broken English, is a more unifying presence.’

The report also claims that inside sources have confirmed the emergence of dressing room cliques, with Cristiano the nucleus of a Portuguese enclave at the club.

‘On a personal level, Ronaldo has naturally blended with Portugal team-mates Diogo Dalot and Fernandes, although several sources have suggested cliques have split the United dressing room.’

Brazilians Fred and Alex Telles are also native Portuguese speakers, although they are not named in the article as being part of the clique.

The article also confirms that Ronaldo’s interview, in which he criticised younger players for a lack of work ethic and willingness to listen to advice, upset some members of the squad but that others felt he was spot on in his criticism.

‘In the United dressing room, Ronaldo’s words were noted and did not go down well with everyone, although The Athletic has learned that at least one high-profile senior player was very supportive of the sentiments echoed by Ronaldo,’ the report states.

‘This player has previously attempted to be nurturing with United’s younger players and came to the conclusion that Ronaldo’s tough love was necessary.’

The wide-reaching article also goes on to look at Ronaldo’s on-pitch influence before concluding that his reunion with United might not be the best fit. The argument is that he should be seen as a ‘cherry on the cake’ type of player, better suited to a team that is dominant and successful and that just needs elevating to a slightly higher level.

‘There are some at United who do believe Ronaldo must start accepting that even he is succumbing to age and has to tweak his playing expectations accordingly,’ the report concludes.

‘In one recent 11-v-11 training drill, for instance, Ronaldo endured a tough time at centre-forward, so Rangnick switched him to left wing. Ronaldo, almost affronted, redoubled his efforts and finished the session strongly.’

Of course, at 36 years of age Ronaldo is not as effective as he was at 26. But it is that kind of defiant, arrogant, determined attitude that has helped to make him one of the world’s greatest ever players.

For all the problems he may (or may not) have brought to the club, that attitude and star quality could inspire United to glory in the Champions League this season, even if the Premier League is already out of reach.

Ronaldo was on United’s winning side in the 2008 final in Moscow. He scored United’s goal and was voted Fans’ man of the match. With the 2022 final also taking place in the Russian capital, what fan cannot close their eyes and picture the ‘siuuuu’ celebration taking place on May 28th?

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