Cristiano Ronaldo defended after Gary Neville criticism when Manchester United’s addiction was exposed

Kevin Campbell has defended Cristiano Ronaldo and has criticized Gary Neville for being “tough” on the Manchester United striker.

The 36-year-old scored his eighth of the season in the 3-1 win over Burnley on Thursday, and the former Arsenal striker believes five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo is wearing the Reds this season.

Neville’s criticism came after United’s draw against Newcastle, in which he branded players in the squad as “whinge-bags” in their actions towards other teammates and the referee in what was an incoherent performance.

It followed a disappointing display in the win over Norwich – where Ronaldo scored the only goal of the match – as David de Gea helped ensure they left Carrow Road with three points.

Campbell believes Ronaldo is an influential figure in the locker room and will rectify the problems if the players underperform.

“Ronaldo is a player who has seen it, done it and got the t-shirt,” he told Football Insider.

“If the players are not doing things right, he will tell them so. There is no hiding place when you are out there on the pitch with without a doubt one of the best players ever.

“It’s very good to say he has to help the youngsters and put his arm around them, but when you’re on the pitch, you have to have that ruthless streak.

“Neville is a bit tough on him. Ronaldo is the one carrying Man United right now. The rest is not up to standard.

“We saw him keep Solskj√¶r in a job for two extra months, let’s be honest. It’s a bit rich to suddenly say he’s not pulling his weight in the club.”

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