Wright defends Neville over ‘petty’ Ronaldo, thinks Man Utd striker ‘may need to seek counselling’

Ian Wright speaks about Man Utd Credit: Alamy
Ian Wright speaks about Man Utd Credit: Alamy

Ian Wright thinks Man Utd striker Cristiano Ronaldo “may need to seek counselling” to help him cope with the end of his career.

The Portugal international caused a stir on Sunday after an interview with Piers Morgan saw him criticise Erik ten Hag, the Man Utd hierarchy, Gary Neville, Wayne Rooney and others.

Ronaldo said he felt “betrayed” by the club and insisted that he was being made to look like the “black sheep” at Old Trafford, while he vowed never to “respect” Man Utd boss Ten Hag.

Graeme Souness aside, Ronaldo has been widely criticised for the interview after Man Utd had just beaten Fulham 2-1 to make it eight wins in their last 12 Premier League fixtures.

And Wright thinks the 37-year-old is finding it hard to deal with his decline in performances and status as he approaches the end of his career.

“It’s quite sad to see when you consider what Cristiano Ronaldo has done and what he’s achieved in his career,” Wright said on The Kelly and Wrighty Show.

“For him not to be able to deal with his career coming to an end – it happens to all of us, it happened to me – you do feel a sense of ‘is that it?’

“He’s not used to hearing negativity but now it is coming to him. It must be difficult for him and something he may need to seek counselling for.’”

Ronaldo has already snubbed handshakes from Jamie Carragher and former Man Utd team-mate Neville this season and Wright thinks the dig at Neville was particularly “petty”.

Wright added: “I find that petty. I was quite uncomfortable watching what he did to Jamie Carragher.

“When I watch Carragher’s summary of the situation, it’s not a million miles off. All of the stuff he said – about Ronaldo’s age and profile – has come to be.

“No pundit is going out there just to dig players out, it’s not personal.

“It’s petty because Gary Neville has always stuck by Ronaldo. The one time Gary criticised the way Ronaldo acted when he refused to come on – which was terrible – and he blanks him for it.”

Ronaldo attempted to leave Man Utd in the summer and now Wright reckons he is now “trying to engineer a move away” this winter.

“It seems like he’s trying to engineer a move away. I can’t see why else he would be talking like this,” Wright continued.

“It wouldn’t make sense for him otherwise. I think one of the things that stuck out for me is him saying that nothing’s changed since his first spell there. That’s really damning.

“But for him to talk about not respecting the manager, I found that really difficult, especially after he left a game early. It smacks of someone who wants to do this final thing and then leave.”

READ MORE: Blankety Blank, cynicism, nostalgia and bombshells: the Ronaldo interview fallout continues


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