Liverpool hero empathises with Ronaldo at Man Utd having been ‘forced out’ despite being ‘best striker’

Man Utd striker Cristiano Ronaldo smiles Credit: Alamy
Man Utd striker Cristiano Ronaldo smiles Credit: Alamy

Cristiano Ronaldo has earned the right to be frustrated by his bit-part role at Manchester United according to Robbie Fowler, who empathises with the striker’s predicament.

Ronaldo started and scored for United in their 3-0 win over FC Sheriff on Thursday having been dropped after his tantrum against Tottenham.

The Portuguese striker has been behind Marcus Rashford in the United pecking order for much of the season and Fowler reflected on a similar situation he found himself in at Liverpool.

Dubbed ‘God’ by the Liverpool fans, Fowler quit the club for Leeds in 2001 with Michael Owen and Emile Heskey the preferred pairing up front.

Fowler told FairBettingSites: “I have been in this situation where I believed, without being egotistical, I was the best striker but for whatever reason, managers pick a team without you in it.

“As a player, it is hard to get your head around that you aren’t the first player being picked for the team. But what do you do? You go out there and perform at training and do everything you need to do, but it doesn’t really matter, managers still might have certain players that they want to play and it’s hard to accept that.

“That’s why I left Liverpool for Leeds. I felt for me and my game, as much as I love Liverpool, I needed to play football. I felt I was forced out of the club by not playing but I needed to go and play for my own sanity.”

However, Fowler admits Ronaldo may now have to leave United if he wants to start consistently.

He added: “The question remains with Ronaldo, I think he could pick any club in the world to go and play at. We need to remember he isn’t the player he used to be, he is still a good player we all know that. He is still a handful and the way he looks after himself is up there with the better players who have ever lived.

“The money situation is massive and any club in the world would take him. If he wants to continue to play at a good level then unfortunately for him he will have to take a huge pay cut. He should be aware of that.

“Manchester United knew the type of player they were bringing in. We know it’s a different manager and this is obviously one of the problems he had with Man United last year. He was getting a bit of stick because he wasn’t pressing but he wasn’t brought in to do that. Not everyone can play the perfect way. He was brought in to score goals and he has scored goals.

“Now a different manager has come in who has new goals and a different ambition of wanting to play. It is quite clear that Ronaldo doesn’t fit into that plan, so the best concern for all parties is if he goes. The simple answer I can give you. He is a great player but if he wants to play close to 90 minutes then he has got to go.”

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