‘I know for a fact he will be absolutely SMOKING’: Rio Ferdinand insists Cristiano Ronaldo will NOT agree to sit on Manchester United bench but warns his former team-mate ‘won’t be able’ to leave Old Trafford this summer
- Cristiano Ronaldo was left on the bench by Erik ten Hag for consecutive games
- Portuguese won’t be happy with current state of affairs, says Rio Ferdinand
- Ronaldo’s former teammate is adamant he won’t accept the current situation
- But he admits there aren’t too many options on the table for him right now
Rio Ferdinand says former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo will be “absolutely furious” after being demoted to the bench in Manchester United’s last two games.
The Portuguese, 37, has not started in either of United’s previous two matches – against Liverpool and Southampton – with manager Erik ten Hag choosing instead to start Marcus Rashford in a centre-forward position.
Speculation has been high this summer around Ronaldo’s future, with the Portuguese making it known through various channels that he wants to leave the club.
Rio Ferdinand says Cristiano Ronaldo will be ‘absolutely furious’ to be on the bench
Ronaldo has been benched in each of United’s last two Premier League games
Ten Hag initially wanted to keep the player but his stance has since softened as he is now said to be open to Ronaldo leaving. Yet, so far, no club that matches Ronaldo’s criteria has emerged as a viable destination.
Speaking on his own Vibe with Five podcast, Ferdinand said: “Whether he stays or not, none of us know. But knowing Cristiano [Ronaldo]I know for a fact that he will be absolutely furious right now.
‘Forget who begins before him, [that] it does not start. You can’t do what he’s done in his career over that incredible period at the levels he’s played being someone who’s going to accept not starting and being a substitute for a team that doesn’t. is not in the Champions League. ‘
Ferdinand suggested that sitting on the bench and playing a small role would be ‘cool’ for some players, but that Ronaldo is ‘not built like that’.
He saw his place as the team’s main centre-forward fall to Marcus Rashford in those wins.
“Ronaldo is not built like that,” he said. ‘You can’t expect him to change at 37 [years-old].
‘He would have been the same at 21 [years-old]. We were talking before the game with [Paul] Scholes… I remember when [David] Beckham was dropped for a few games, the [Real] Madrid game [in 2003] etc., he [was] smoking. Superstars are built differently.
‘They don’t believe they have bad games, they don’t believe they don’t play well [and] they don’t believe they are wrong in their game because they are so determined to succeed and believe in their skills and themselves that they don’t see failures.
Since Ronaldo returned to United, debate has raged over his suitability as a modern, free-flowing attacking unit.
Some believe the 37-year-old doesn’t suit Erik ten Hag’s modern and fluid style of play in attack.
But Ferdinand insists his former colleague will highlight the fact that he was top scorer last season
Some questioned whether he was working hard enough for the team while others expressed those doubts pointing out he was United’s top scorer last season.
Ferdinand weighed in on the debate by offering insight into what Ronaldo might think of those who question his work ethic.
“Whatever is said about running, pressing, etc., it will just sit there.” I scored 24 goals last season. The hardest thing to do in football is to put the ball in the back of the net and I did that 24 times last year.”
When asked if he expected Ronaldo to stay or leave, Ferdinand said he ‘didn’t believe’ he would leave just because no team seemed capable of paying his astronomical salary.
“Financially, I just don’t think it will be able (sic) to happen in this window,” said the former United defender.
The former United defender says Ronaldo (L) is likely to stay at the club this summer
Ronaldo was in the running for a United departure after missing out on the Champions League
Concerns can therefore be raised about the problems of maintaining a player who will not accept being on the bench, a problem which could affect the atmosphere in the dressing room and destabilize the squad.
Ferdinand, however, knows Ronaldo is ‘calculated and smart enough not to want to destabilize the regime’ since their time together.
“He can be tricky at times, but you won’t see a drop in intensity, focus and professionalism.” I don’t think he’ll be aloof and empty people and he’ll be an absolute sore in the eye, I don’t think he’ll be like that,’ he added.
Rio Ferdinand says Cristiano Ronaldo will NOT sit on the bench