EPL

Ronaldo appears to hit back at 'jealous' Rooney after Man Utd return criticised

By Sports Desk April 07, 2022

Cristiano Ronaldo has seemingly hit back at Wayne Rooney after the Derby County manager suggested the forward's return to Manchester United had not paid off.

The Portugal captain has managed 18 goals in 33 games in all competitions since his Old Trafford comeback, averaging a goal every 148 minutes, but United are out of all the cup competitions and languishing in seventh in the Premier League.

That has led to questions over the capabilities of Ralf Rangnick, the identity of his successor at the end of the season, and United's transfer dealings.

Rooney, speaking on Sky Sports' Monday Night Football, concluded that Paul Pogba should move on and agreed with fellow pundit Jamie Carragher that the return of Ronaldo had proved a mistake.

"You'd have to say no, at the minute," he said when asked had Ronaldo's transfer worked. "He's a goal threat, but the rest of his game, I think they need more. I think they need young, hungry players.

"He's scored the hat-trick against Tottenham, but I think if you're looking to the future of the club, you have to go with younger, hungry players to lift Manchester United over these next two to three years.

"Obviously Cristiano is getting on a bit, he certainly isn't the player he was when he was in his 20s, and that happens, that's football."

Rooney later posted a photo to Instagram of him on the programme, and Ronaldo appeared to make his views known.

"Two Jealous," he replied in a message to former team-mate Rooney, who he played with during his first stint at United, presumably referring to the comments made alongside Carragher.

United will be hoping Ronaldo can quieten his critics when they visit strugglers Everton on Saturday.

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    Cristiano Ronaldo should have told Manchester United he wanted to leave at the end of last season rather than drop a July bombshell, according to former Liverpool star Jamie Carragher.

    Superstar Ronaldo returned to Old Trafford last year, having enjoyed a remarkable career in 12 seasons away with Real Madrid and Juventus, but widespread reports on Saturday said the 37-year-old wants to leave again.

    He is said to want to play in the Champions League, according to The Times, which first reported the news, and United cannot offer that after a disappointing sixth-placed finish last season.

    The Portugal striker has been a mainstay in that competition throughout his career, and the prospect of being away from the frontline of elite European football would be a step down.

    New United manager Erik ten Hag will target a return to the Champions League, but that is at least a year away, and veteran Ronaldo does not have time to waste.

    Unless Ronaldo has been given unexpected information about his role at United in the new season, Carragher said he could not understand the timing of his apparent request to move on.

    Carragher sparked a debate with former United captain Gary Neville on Twitter when he wrote: "Ronaldo did exactly what I thought he would do, score goals but make the team worse. The transfer request also kills the idea he turned down Man City because of his love for Man United."

    That was a reference to the saga that saw United seemingly pip Manchester City to the signing of Ronaldo last August, when Alex Ferguson appealed to his former star player to return to the Red Devils.

    Carragher's comments triggered a rebuttal from Neville, who said: "I get it, you’re full of yourselves but he can turn down City for United because he likes them more and still want to leave this summer. He left before but still loved the club. Enjoy Saturday night and your short period of success."

    Carragher, who has seen Liverpool rack up a string of trophies during a lean recent period for United, did not leave it at that.

    "City didn’t want him you [clown] and you're the same fella who kept saying it was like Elvis had arrived in Manchester! Elvis has left the building," Carragher replied.

    Carragher added: "Also, why now? Has ETH [Erik ten Hag] told him he is not part of his plans or will play a limited role?? Surely the end of last season was the right time to tell the club."

    Ronaldo scored 24 goals in all competitions last season, including 18 in the Premier League.

    United finished with their lowest points tally in the 30-year history of the Premier League, a competition Ronaldo won three times during his first United stint from 2003 to 2009.

    Five-time Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo has recently been linked with United's domestic rivals Chelsea and Jose Mourinho's Serie A outfit Roma. The Italians would be unable to offer Champions League football in 2022-23, but Chelsea could, having finished third in last season's Premier League.

  • Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly asks to leave Man Utd Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly asks to leave Man Utd

    Cristiano Ronaldo wants to leave Manchester United for a second time, according to a report.

    Ronaldo returned to Old Trafford last year, having enjoyed a remarkable career in 12 seasons away with Real Madrid and Juventus.

    But the veteran striker's homecoming campaign did not go entirely to plan, even if he scored 24 goals in all competitions.

    United finished sixth in the Premier League, enduring a fifth successive season without silverware and finishing with their lowest points tally in the competition.

    Ronaldo, who won three league titles and the Champions League during his first United stint, has since been linked with moves away from the club.

    And The Times reported on Saturday that the 37-year-old has now asked United to be allowed to leave if they receive "a satisfactory offer".

    The report suggests Ronaldo wants to spend the final years of his career playing in the Champions League, with United having to settle for Europa League football in 2022-23.

    United are expected to bring in the first signing of the Erik ten Hag era in the coming days, with Feyenoord defender Tyrell Malacia reportedly set to join. According to widespread reports, the club are also in talks with Barcelona over Frenkie de Jong.

  • Fabio Carvalho is 'the perfect player', claims Liverpool team-mate Fabio Carvalho is 'the perfect player', claims Liverpool team-mate

    Harvey Elliott knows all about Liverpool's new "perfect player" Fabio Carvalho and expects the rest of the Premier League soon will, too.

    Carvalho, like Elliott, came through Fulham's academy, and the pair are separated by less than a year.

    They never played together in Fulham's first team, with Elliott leaving for Liverpool a year before Carvalho's professional debut, but the Portugal Under-21 international has now followed his former youth team-mate to Anfield.

    Both men face a battle to get into a Liverpool attack that was boosted on Friday by news of Mohamed Salah's new contract, with Sadio Mane's departure offset by the signing of Darwin Nunez.

    However, Elliott started three of the Reds' first four league games last season before dislocating his ankle, and he is confident Carvalho also has the quality to break into the team.

    "He brings everything, in all fairness," Elliott told Liverpool's official website. "He has a great attitude, he has the flair, the skill, the determination, and he can score and assist as well."

    A key part of the Fulham team who won the Championship last season, Carvalho contributed 10 goals and eight assists – a goal involvement every 158 minutes – with his 139 shot involvements ranking 15th across the entire division.

    Still just 19, he was the youngest player to score five goals, provide five assists, attempt 50 shots or create 50 chances.

    "He's the perfect player, in my eyes," Elliott continued, "and to have him on board and to have him in the building and around us, he'll only make us better players as well, and it will only make him a better player. 

    "It's been a long time, and to hopefully share the pitch with him again and to have that link-up, it'll be great and I'm just looking forward to it. 

    "Hopefully he can show everyone why we signed him."

    Carvalho's Premier League debut could come in familiar surroundings, as Liverpool face Fulham on the opening day of the new season.

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