Search icon


07th Jul 2016

Former Manchester United star likens Cristiano Ronaldo to Andy Carroll

Don't think he meant it as a compliment

Patrick McCarry

Cristiano Ronaldo’s header in the Euro 2016 semi-final was a joy to behold.

The Portugal talisman seemed to hang in the air for an eternity before nutting the ball past a diving, beaten Wayne Hennessey.

The goal was Ronaldo’s third at Euro 2016 and his ninth overall in four tournament appearances. Another goal in the final and he will stand alone, higher than Michel Platini, as the Euros’ top scorer of all time. You wouldn’t put it past him.

It is clear that Ronaldo is carrying a knock after a long season. He has adapted his game to fit and is occupying a No.9 role – not dropping deep to get possession and locating himself in or around the opposition box.

While Ronaldo’s new direction has attracted praise in some quarters – notably from Ryan Giggs – Paul Parker is not convinced. The former Manchester United and England defender thinks the 31-year-old is a busted flush. In his Eurosport column, he writes:

‘Look at Portugal as a footballing side, and you see a dour, turgid team with Ronaldo playing the game like Andy Carroll. It is not the Ronaldo of three years ago.

‘All I saw last night was a player like Andy Carroll when he just wanted to head the ball and not run. At one point, he was flicking the ball on and trying to chase it himself. I thought I was watching some sort of League One match in England with the big centre forward trying to flick the ball on to the little nippy nine alongside him.

‘It was embarrassing watching what Ronaldo was doing. Or trying to do. You would never see Lionel Messi doing that.’

This must be the same Messi that retired from international football at 29.

Is there a way back for Ronaldo? Parker doesn’t think so.

‘He hasn’t got any natural tricks,’ he declares. ‘All his tricks are related to pace.’

Ronaldo trick