Scottish great Graeme Souness has slammed Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag over his treatment of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Cristiano Ronaldo had started only one Premier League game this season but had started two of Manchester United Europe League matches this season. The Portuguese Superstar was an unused substitute in Manchester United’s 6-3 defeat to Manchester City in the Manchester derby.
Explaining the reason behind Cristiano Ronaldo’s non-involvement in the Manchester derby, he said he did it “out of respect for Cristiano Ronaldo’s illustrious career.”
What did Graeme Souness say?
The former Liverpool midfielder said on TalkSports Breakfast: “He’s the best player in the world with Lionel Messi – he still has something to offer.
“Ronaldo has an argument for saying, ‘I’ve been the best player ever’ – he can sit with any group of players in the history of the game if they were still alive and argue that.
“So, the disrespect Manchester United are showing him now, I don’t see the point in going through the aggravation which they have done in making him stay to not use him.
“It’s disrespectful not to use him. I don’t buy that [Ten Hag’s explanation], I think you’re showing more disrespect by not using him.”
Souness added that Ronaldo would have loved to have a minute in the Manchester derby despite the scoreline.
“Time is not your friend in football.
“It’s about winning games today. It’s not about waiting for Rashford to become the player most people think he can be.
“It’s not about giving Anthony Martial a place in the team because of his age. It’s about today.
“I can tell you; Ronaldo would rather be on the pitch. Players want to play, you saw it on his face, and the camera went to his face.
I would have been giving him [Ten Hag] a nudge, I would have been asking to be on at 4-0.
“I think the game was screaming out for Ronaldo. Manchester United were so disappointing yesterday and Ronaldo’s the real deal.
“Did you see the pictures of Ronaldo’s face when these substitutions were being made? I know what he would have been thinking: ‘Is this what it’s come to? He [Ten Hag] thinks these players are better than me?’
“Ronaldo has got an ego that would choke a horse, and quite rightly so, he’s been one of the best ever, and he would have been shaking his head and saying to himself, ‘Really?’
“Ronaldo, along with Messi, I think the best player in the world is one of those two, and it’s because of the levels they’ve done it at and their longevity.
“You can’t live off your reputation forever, but I still think he’s got something to offer. There’s a use for Ronaldo in this Manchester United team where they are right now.”
Meanwhile, Former Crystal Palace owner Simon Jordan has defended Erik Ten Hag’s decision to start Marcus Rashford ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo in the Manchester derby.
Simon said: “Marcus Rashford is the future.
“He’s someone who clearly needs to be redeveloped and recalibrated because he’s lost his way a little bit.
“You keep giving him a run. If you put Ronaldo in front of him, doesn’t that hurt the dynamic?”