Manchester United hero Wayne Rooney has provided a sound response to Cristiano Ronaldo’s ambiguous Instagram comment following the Derby boss’ criticism of his Old Trafford return.
Appearing as a guest on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, Rooney said he believed the Portugal captain’s homecoming hasn’t quite worked out. “You’d have to say, no (it hasn’t worked), at the minute,” he said. “He’s scored goals, important goals in the Champions League earlier on in the season, he scored the hat-trick against Tottenham.
“But I think if you’re looking at the future of the club, you have to go with younger, hungry players to lift Manchester United over the next two or three years. Obviously, Cristiano is getting on a bit and he’s obviously not the player he was when he was in his 20s. ”
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He added: “That happens, that’s football. He’s a goal threat, the rest of the game, I think, they need more younger and more hungry players.”
On Wednesday, Rooney posted a photograph of himself in the Sky studio alongside Jamie Carragher and host presenter Dave Jones on Instagram. Ronaldo commented with the words “two jealous” later that day.
It is unclear what the phrase is referring to, whether it be regarding Rooney’s assessment of Ronaldo or suggesting his former teammate is envious of his return to United – or something else. Either way, Rooney admitted in a Derby press conference that he had seen Ronaldo’s reply on Thursday morning.
When asked about it, he replied: “I’d say there’s not a football player on the planet who is not jealous of Cristiano Ronaldo. The career he had, the trophies he won, the money he earned.
“The six-pack, his body,” he added with a wry smile. “I think every player bar Lionel Messi is jealous of Cristiano.” Ronaldo has scored 18 times since his move back to United and is the club’s current top scorer this season.
However, he has come in for some criticism from other pundits and fans who suggested his presence is hampering the squad’s progression and performance. A Manchester Evening News poll showed that more than half of those who voted did not want United to offer Ronaldo a new deal any time soon.
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