Manchester United legends Roy Keane and Gary Neville had a heated argument over Cristiano Ronaldo on Saturday, following the Red Devils’ latest draw with Chelsea. The Portuguese was dropped from the squad after refusing to play against Tottenham this week, but Keane says the worst has happened at Old Trafford over the years, dragging sagas involving Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand.
The relationship between Ronaldo and Erik ten Hag was strained almost immediately when the veteran striker reportedly asked to leave the club over the summer. A transfer never materialized, but he had to settle for a reduced role this season, despite his five Ballon d’Ors and glittering trophy case.
Ronaldo reportedly refused to come on from the bench in Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Tottenham, instead barreling down the tunnel minutes before the final whistle. As a result, Ten Hag dropped him from the matchday squad for Saturday’s clash with Chelsea and the Portuguese appears to be frozen for the foreseeable future.
Neville apparently started a fire within Keane by claiming that a player acting like Ronaldo “has to leave” the club. With the tug-of-war on Sky Sports, Keane replied: “Gary, there are players at Man United who have done much worse than he has.
“Where do you want me to start? Scholesy, big boy… let me finish. Scholesy refused to play for Man United. We didn’t tell him anything. Ronaldo will be fined for this, he will find his way back. Rio Ferdinand missed a trial of drugs, he was suspended for eight months.
Both former players agreed that Ronaldo’s actions warranted some form of punishment, but Neville insisted the 37-year-old was in no position to complain about playing time due to the notion that United are a better team without him.
The fierce debate between Neville and Keane came after United had battled for a hard-won point against Chelsea. Neither man was at his best and it looked as though the Premier League heavyweight showdown would end 0-0 before a late flurry breathed life into the game.
Jorginho had a rough time in midfield but seemed to have sealed victory for Graham Potter with a late penalty, but Casemiro had other ideas and fired a last-gasp header past Kepa Arrizabalaga in stoppage time to level the game. score 1-1.
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