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22nd Oct 2022

Rio Ferdinand offers passionate defence of Cristiano Ronaldo on BT Sport


“Like it or not, he’s Cristiano Ronaldo.”

Rio Ferdinand has just defended Cristiano Ronaldo’s decision to leave Old Trafford early against Tottenham and blamed Erik ten Hag for not putting preventative measures in place.

The BT Sport pundit said that Ronaldo is not like other players, therefore he should receive different treatment.

Rio Ferdinand Cristiano Ronaldo

“I think there’s two ways to look at it and I don’t condone it for one moment, but there’s always another side to the story, and I think communication hasn’t been as clear as maybe he wanted.

“People say ‘ah but you’re a player’ but when you’re dealing with someone like Cristiano Ronaldo; like it or not, he’s Cristiano Ronaldo, he’s the greatest footballer to ever play football alongside Messi.

“So sometimes the way they’re treated is a little bit different from everyone else, it was the same under Fergie. I think all the way through his career he’s probably had that communication; how the game is going to look, how his minutes are going to look.

“This is the first point in his life where that’s not probably upheld by the manager, or the club, and he’s in a position where ‘I don’t know what I’m at.’

“I’m not saying he was right in his decision, and his statement after says that as well, but at the same time you can always say, for every other player, it’s okay ‘you’re one of the team’, but there are special players sometimes in a squad that things do work differently for.

“By the way, not only is he an iconic player, and iconic with all the stuff he has done, I think it’s important for the team to have that as well, that it’s communicated, so that he’s fresh, he’s ready, he’s able to play.”

Rio Ferdinand Cristiano Ronaldo

Peter Crouch was also there, and he took the opposite stance. The former Liverpool defender said Ronaldo simply cannot do whatever he wants as, no matter what, he is a member of a team.

“It’s the manager’s prerogative who he plays and who he doesn’t, it’s not the player’s prerogative. No player can sit on the side and say ‘I’m not coming on’.

“I don’t care who you are, Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best players we have ever seen in the game, but you’re a player at the end of the day.

“You have to have a manager, and you have a board in place, who makes decisions on who plays and who doesn’t. As a player you cannot take that decision to not come on.”

There you go, debate over surely, you can’t really argue with that… or so you would think.

“I think he (Ronaldo) will say the same thing. He will handle it differently next time,” said Ferdinand, despite the fact that the Portugal captain has been involved in several incidents like this and seems to be getting worse at handling them – not better.

“‘Communicate with me so I can prepare the week, and I can be ready for the weekend,'” continued the United legend, speaking on behalf of his former teammate.

“‘Throwing me five minutes here and two minutes there is… It was disrespectful against Man City to bring me on for a few minutes, so why is it now not disrespectful?'”

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