Manchester United duo Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes have voiced similar opinions on their now former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo and how he responds to criticism.
The Portuguese superstar has been in the headlines for the past couple of weeks, a time that has seen his Old Trafford exit confirmed as a direct consequence of his explosive interview with Piers Morgan.
During the interview, Ronaldo strongly criticised the club’s alleged lack of respect towards him, whilst he also took aim at new manager Erik ten Hag as well as the current owners, the Glazer family.
The 37-year-old has subsequently been criticised by most of the football world. Some have suggested that it was an overreaction and a sign of sensitivity as well as arrogance. However, Maguire and Fernandes have both implied that he responds best when he’s being criticised.
As cited by our colleagues at The Mirror, United’s club captain Maguire said: “As a footballer, nobody likes being criticised. I’ve played with Cristiano Ronaldo for the last couple of years and, in my opinion, he’s one of the greatest players to ever kick a football.
“He gets criticised day in and day out, so if it’s going to happen to him, and with the position, I’m in at Manchester United, it’s going to be part and parcel of the game. He’s the greatest player, for me, to ever kick a ball and he gets criticised daily, so it’s going to happen to each and every one of us. You’ve just got to work hard, go into training. That’s what I always tell myself. That’s all you can do.”
Meanwhile, speaking after Portugal’s first win of the World Cup campaign against Ghana on Thursday, Fernandes revealed that he shares a similar stance on his national team captain: “I think he likes to work under that criticism from everyone, so I pray all of you to keep doing that because he gets the best of himself when you guys do that,” Fernandes told reporters of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
“I still share the space with him in the national team and the main thing for me is that Portugal does the best we can in the tournament because if we do it, Cristiano will be happy, I will be happy and everyone in Portugal will be happy for us.”
The club and player will ultimately be happy that the situation has now been resolved. A few English clubs, including Chelsea and Newcastle, as well as several overseas sides have since been linked with Ronaldo’s signature.
football.london understands that the Blues sounded out a move for Ronaldo in July as Todd Boehly met with the striker’s agent Jorge Mendes to discuss a number of topics. However, Thomas Tuchel was a roadblock in negotiations, and the deal eventually collapsed. Whether Graham Potter is of a similar opinion remains to be seen.