Cristiano Ronaldo made headlines yesterday against Rayo Vallecano during Manchester United’s final warm-up match at Old Trafford.
His performance was not good enough to elicit much response – showing neither positive signs nor being poor enough to be damning.
The headlines were instead made by the Portugal captain’s early walkout following his half-time substitution.
It is understood that players are allowed to leave preseason games early while not involved, and the club – officially – has no issue with his early departure.
But Ronaldo will have done himself no favours with United, be that among fans, staff, or teammates.
It would certainly have gone down poorly with the managerial behemoth that was Alex Ferguson in the nineties.
Speaking to the Off the Ball podcast, Brian McClair recalls an incident where the Scot unloaded his infamous hairdryer treatment on veteran centre-back Gary Pallister during a European tie.
His gripe? Pallister was not aware that Gary Neville had a long throw-in.
🗣 'I remember Gary Pallister getting a hairdryer for not knowing Gary Neville had a long throw!'#MUFC legend Brian McClair seemed to be one step ahead of the curve when finding his teammates' strengths | ⚽️
Football w/ @SkyIreland
— Off The Ball (@offtheball) October 17, 2021
Neville was making his debut having had sparse training time with the first team.
But that did not matter to Ferguson, who insisted that his senior players had a responsibility to be aware of the capabilities of the younger players.
Sunday’s game was a chance for Ronaldo to get to know the habits of Manchester United’s youngsters on the pitch.
It was a chance he decidedly turned down.
Perhaps the legendary striker is certain he can convince a Champions League side to make a move for him, rendering such information useless to him.
Given that his options on that front are drying up faster than a towel in a furnace, it seems far more likely that Ronaldo simply does not care about the younger players either way.