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Man United failed Ronaldo – Rio Ferdinand

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By Martin Graham | 28th May 2022

Former Manchester United defender turned pundit has blamed his former club for wasting Cristiano Ronaldo‘s return season.

The 37-year-old returned to Old Trafford in the summer after three years in Italy with Juventus for the first verse of his swansong. He managed to bag 24 goals (18 in the Premier League) and three assists in 39 total appearances for the club.

The rest of the team, however, were a fat cry from what they were the season before. First under Ronaldo’s former teammate Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and then under Ralf Rangnick, who is now the club’s consultant sporting director.

While it looked like Ronaldo was thriving, the rest of the team could not match up to his wavelength and ultimately, his decent return of 18 goals in the Premier League only saw them finish in sixth place and miss out on the UEFA Champions League.

Ronaldo, as a result, is set to feature in Europe’s second tier competition for the first time in his illustrious career and United have qualified directly for the tournament for the first time in decades.

Ferdinand, who also played with Ronaldo in his first stint at United, claims that the club did not give Ronaldo the atmosphere he thrives in to flourish.

What has been said?

Ferdinand praised Ronaldo for a good season which saw him finish behind eventual golden boot winners Mohamed Salah and Heung-Min Son with his 18 league goals.

“On a personal level he does what Ronaldo does, he scores goals, he wins games and without Ronaldo they don’t get out the knockout stages of the Champions League,” Ferdinand told FootballJOE’s YouTube channel.

He then went on to state that Ronaldo did not have help despite pulling rabbits out of his hat on a number of occasions.

“He’s scored winning goals multiple times and he has held up his side of the bargain. I think the club obviously hasn’t played their role in terms of giving him the platform for success,” Ferdinand added.

“It just shows you that great players, those in conversation as the best players ever – and he’s one of them – you can’t do it alone, you need team-mates to help and this shows that.”

Ronaldo and ten Hag will work well

Ferdinand then implied that Ronaldo and ten Hag will flourish together in the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s last season, per his contract, but that they need time.

“We have to wait and see. This is something we need to wait for and give it time,” the former England international stayed. “Ronaldo said this new manager needs to be given time and he needs to be afforded that given the resources, given the patience, to try and create something. He has to create something from almost scratch here.”

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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