Roy Keane claims Cristiano Ronaldo has had an attitude problem his entire career. Roy Keane believes Cristiano Ronaldo’s attitude hasn’t changed in recent years, despite criticism from other pundits.
Ronaldo, 37, threw a tantrum after being substituted during Portugal’s 2-1 World Cup loss to South Korea in Qatar. Portugal manager Fernando Santos rested the five-time Ballon d’Or winner for their next match, a 6-1 victory over Switzerland on Tuesday night.
Former Manchester United teammate Gary Neville described Ronaldo’s antics as “petulant,” but Keane believes the veteran forward has faced similar criticism throughout his career. In a vehement defense of his former colleague, he reminded critics of Ronaldo’s age.
“Are footballers expected to be perfect?” Keane wondered to Sky Bet. “10 years ago, Cristiano Ronaldo had this attitude, but the next game, he would score a hat trick, and he was 27 – everyone would forgive him; people say he makes teams worse – Juventus haven’t done anything since he left them a couple of years ago.”
Juventus sold Ronaldo to United at the start of the 2021/22 season, and they went on to have their first trophyless season in 11 years. The Italian giants are also struggling this season after being eliminated in the Champions League group stage.
Many critics believe Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford in August 2021 contributed to the club’s struggles last season. United finished second in the Premier League under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in 2020/21 but fell to sixth last season.
Ronaldo was United’s talisman during the 2021/22 season, but he played a supporting role under Erik ten Hag in the first half of this season. United’s fortunes have turned around, and they are now only three points behind Tottenham in fourth place with a game in hand.
After beating Switzerland, Ronaldo’s chances of starting Portugal’s World Cup quarter-final against Morocco on Saturday are slim. It would be unfair to fire his replacement, Goncalo Ramos, who scored a hat-trick in the 6-1 victory.
“Against Switzerland, the Portugal manager made the correct decision to replace Ronaldo with someone who offered more mobility up front,” Keane continued, “and he [Ramos] scores a hat trick, and everyone looks straight to Ronaldo. I always thought there was a chance that Ronaldo wouldn’t start a World Cup knockout game for Portugal – he’s 37!”
Ronaldo’s conduct has been chastised on numerous occasions in recent months. The Real Madrid legend was criticized for failing to appear in United’s 2-0 win over Tottenham in October. He left Old Trafford before the Premier League game ended.
Ronaldo made headlines in November when he slammed Ten Hag and United’s owners, the Glazers, in an explosive interview with Piers Morgan. His contract was mutually terminated shortly after the chat was broadcast.
“There are a lot of Cristiano Ronaldo fans who aren’t willing to tell him the truth, and I think that he does need to listen to the truth, and it’s becoming a little bit of a scruffy end… the petulance, stomping around, the sulking,” Neville said after Ronaldo’s behavior against South Korea.