'Unacceptable!' 'Does Ronaldo think he's greater than Man United?' Pundits slam walk-off before full time
Manchester United defeated Tottenham Hotspurs 2-0 in their Premier League clash on Wednesday, but what hogged the limelight at the end of the clash was legendary striker Cristiano Ronaldo walking off before the final whistle. Football pundits have now slammed the icon and called his behaviour 'unacceptable'.
It was perhaps Manchester United's best performance this season, with Fred and Bruno Fernandes scoring in the Red Devils' 2-0 win against Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on Wednesday. However, what is being widely spoken about is not the game but legendary striker Cristiano Ronaldo's behaviour toward the fag end of the clash.
The Portuguese talisman, benched for the Premier League clash, left the dugout and walked into the tunnel with minutes left in the clash as the Manchester United squad were gearing up to celebrate the spectacular win.
Ronaldo, who had expressed his desire to leave Manchester United in the summer transfer window for a shot at Champions League glory, has not been a regular feature in Erik ten Hag's team. Despite scoring 700 club career goals, the 37-year-old continues to be in the news for all the wrong reasons. Football pundits have now slammed the five-time Ballon d'Or winner for being 'selfish and disrespectful', and launched a scathing attack on his appalling behaviour on the night Manchester United showcased a stellar performance.
Here's a look at who said what, with some even questioning if Ronaldo thinks he is greater than the club itself:
Danny Mills, Sky Sports
"If he has done that, it is an absolute disgrace. I think that is disrespectful to the team, to the manager, and to the fans. They are winning 2-0, what complaint can he have? If they were losing 2-0, it still wouldn't be right but I would sort of understand it. He clearly thinks he is bigger than the football club."
Jamie O'Hara, talkSPORT
"It is a disgrace. The best performance of the season from Man United so far and Ronaldo walks off down the tunnel. The tunnel is not right by the dugout, you got to walk, you got to walk the length of the pitch almost. How disrespectful is that to your teammates?"
Manchester United legend Patrice Evra, Amazon Prime Video Sport
"Maybe Cristiano said to Ten Hag I need to do some treatment or whatever, so I'll go inside. I want to focus more on the performance of United. We need to stop talking every day about Cristiano."
Thiery Henry, Amazon Prime Video Sport
"It's not an easy one. At the end of the day, Ten Hag is here for the team and not just Ronaldo. Ronaldo is a member of the team. He needs to find a solution. People are talking about the problem; the boss is trying to find a solution. And at times, he has to play without him, and at times, as the boss said, he has to take him off the game. What's difficult is when people talk about Ronaldo, often people will talk about and have in the head about what he did in the game. Not a lot of people can sit on his table. Maybe 1 or 2 or 3 in the history of the game that can sit on his table and talk with him about what they've done. But you have to talk about what he is doing. What he is doing is not what he used to do. Sometimes it's more difficult. He used to bail this team out all the time. He doesn't do it as much now. Does he press as well? Maybe not. Sometimes the boss has to decide whether to play him or not and people have to respect that. If you talk about his legacy, not a lot of people can talk."
Robbie Mustoe, NBC Sports Soccer
"Unacceptable. Selfish. Disrespectful. Whatever you want to say. You hardly ever see that. There were subs available. He might be needed and yet he ended up making it about himself by walking off in the 90th minute. There are a few minutes to play there and again he could have been used. So I really, really dislike that. We all know what he's done in his career. We all know he is one of the best players to play the game. But I can't stand that. When there are other players out there, great performance... He's not interested in staying there and congratulating a few. I don't like it. It's going to be interesting when the transfer window opens in January whether he's going to go."
Gary Linekar and Micah Richards, BBC Sport
"Cristiano Ronaldo, now we all know what a great player he has been and stuff like that, but walking off the pitch as a substitute with two minutes to go before the game is finished, I'm sorry, I mean that's unacceptable. That's poor, isn't it?"
"It's so poor. For someone who we've looked up to for so long, one of the greats of the game, to do that when your team are winning, making it about him, he shouldn't. Unacceptable."
"I think it's disappointing really, it's a great night for Manchester United and here we are talking about Ronaldo again who actually didn't play. Yep very strange."