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28 Dec, 2021 15:36

Selfish Ronaldo has insulted the fans who idolize him

Storming down the tunnel after Manchester United's latest unflattering performance, Cristiano Ronaldo needs to take a long, hard look at his behavior
Selfish Ronaldo has insulted the fans who idolize him

With his latest strop, Cristiano Ronaldo showed that whenever things don't go his way, he becomes a spoiled baby who pays little mind to the fans who pay premiums to see him in action.

Manchester United were mostly woeful against relegation-threatened Newcastle United at St. James' Park on Monday night, but it is the conduct of some of their number after full-time which deserves to be just as widely condemned.

Shortly after the whistle had gone, some of the United players shuffled over to applauded the 3,000 traveling fans who had made the 150-mile trip in the rain.

It soon became clear, however, that some of the men in red couldn't be bothered to walk a few extra yards to salute the faithful in the stands.

That included Cristiano Ronaldo.

"Shame on those who didn't," wrote journalist and United fanzine editor Andy Mitten witheringly.  


This isn't the Portuguese icon's first rodeo; he has been accused of storming off down the tunnel on several occasions this season without acknowledging the fans or opposition players. 

Similar strops have been witnessed at Stamford Bridge when drawing to Chelsea, and at home with Everton in October.

Even Ronaldo's former United teammate Gary Neville was forced to join in the chorus of criticism.

Scolded by punters for refusing to pile in on former Red Devils manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer towards the end of his reign, you know something is really not right if you're a United player and Neville is on your back. 

"You can't run off at the end of a game," scolded the former right back in the Sky Sports studio. 

"At the end of the day, I love that lad, he's the best I've ever seen in my life at times, but don't run off like that. I'm not having that."

Defenders of the five-time Ballon d'Or winner will point to his competitiveness and desire to win as the motive for his actions. He is so laser-focused on winning that anything else simply won't do.   

In that case, why did he choose a return to Old Trafford this summer when its occupiers haven't lifted the English top flight title since 2013 and the Champions League since 2008? 

While his drive is unparalleled, and his professionalism in terms of living the disciplined life of an elite athlete off the pitch deserves the utmost respect, it is about time Ronaldo showed more acknowledgement of the dedication and adulation United fans show him week in, week out.   

Tickets to Premier League matches are expensive, and train travel in the UK even more so. Ronaldo has the right to be seething inside with the result, but strolling towards the away end and tapping his palms at the hardcore who had ventured three hours northeast to see such a meager display would have probably soothed the blow for them. 

Instead, the group probably went home even more disappointed than they were before. The number 7 whos is looked up to by millions of kids worldwide should cut out the spoiled baby act.

Ronaldo often talks about 'the team', but such talk is hollow if he carries on in this manner. Ronaldo needs to be reminded that he is part of the United collective, and that means having to perform routine tasks like showing gratitude towards the supporters who help pay his wages.

Simultaneously, he is not proving to be the leader people expect of him either. 

"The best players in your team, it's devastating when they're showing that look and body language to the younger ones. They have to help them," Neville said scathingly when referring to 'whinging' Ronaldo and fellow Portuguese Bruno Fernandes after the Newcastle debacle. 

Constantly throwing up his arms in frustration whenever he doesn't get the ball or it has been lost, Ronaldo's body language transits an almost palpable negativity.

When Ronaldo completed his switch from Juventus on transfer deadline day, the likes of Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho were gushing at the prospect of being able to play alongside a figure they have grown up idolizing. Now, however, they might regret that.

Put simply, United fans idolize one of their greatest ever stars who is a remnant of their last true era of glory, both domestically and on the continent. This is evident in the 'Viva Ronaldo' chants that bellow from the terraces on matchday, and the ecstasy when he returned. 

Coincidentally, his second debut came against Newcastle in September, where he inspired a 4-1 win with a fantastic brace. Now, though, three-and-half months later, things are souring considerably.

It would be interesting to ask what Sir Alex Ferguson makes of all this, too. Responsible for bringing him to the Premier League from Sporting Lisbon, the Scot acted as a father figure of sorts to Ronaldo and played a huge part in him becoming the GOAT candidate Real Madrid so badly wanted.

MUTV has been the home of plenty a love-in between the pair with genuine affection on show. But would the iron-fist ruler who gave the hairdryer treatment to many a prima donna agree with some of Ronaldo's recent actions?

It is almost as if Ronaldo thinks he's now above the club which helped make him. A club whose support and staff may wonder if his legacy is being stained by his persistent petulance.

Grow up, Cristiano, and reciprocate the respect that the United faithful have lavished on you for so long.  

By Tom Sanderson

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.