Cristiano Ronaldo has aimed a brutal dig at Manchester United’s young players and has compared them to 12-year-olds.
That’s the latest from his explosive interview with Piers Morgan, in which Ronaldo has hit out at Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag, former team-mates Wayne Rooney and Gary Neville as well as the Glazer family, who own the club.
The 37-year-old also aimed a dig at Ralf Ragnick, has been fined £1m for the interview and his awkward interaction with United and Portugal team-mate Bruno Fernandes has gone viral as the pair linked up on Monday for the World Cup.
Ronaldo, who was desperate to leave United in the summer, has now been linked with a move to German giants Bayern Munich in January while Ronaldo’s former club Sporting Lisbon are also still keen on signing him despite the interview.
Quizzed about some of his younger team-mates at United, Ronaldo told Morgan: ‘I don’t think that word [respect] is the best one, they live in a different era.
‘I can see with my kid, who is 12-years-old, the mentality is not the same.’
Asked about the difference between United’s young players and players his own age, Ronaldo added: ‘The hunger. They have things more easily.
‘Everything is easy. They don’t suffer, they don’t care. I don’t mean just Man United, but all teams. They are not the same as my generation.
‘But we cannot blame them. It is part of the life of the new generation, the new technologies which distract them from other things.
‘They are not the same. They listen, but they hear one side [and it goes out the other ear]. It doesn’t surprise me, but it is a shame.
‘If they have the best examples in front of them, if they don’t at least copy what you did, it’s kind of weird.
‘I remember when I was 18, 19, 20, I was always looking to see the best players – Ruud van Nistelrooy, Rio Ferdinand, Roy Keane, Ryan Giggs – this is why I have had the success I have had and the longevity, because I take care of my body, my mentality, my head, that’s because I saw those guys and learnt from them.
‘I think the best advice… I’m not the kind of guy who likes to give advice, I like to lead form example.
‘I’m there every morning, I do the same stuff, I’m probably the first person to arrive and the last one to leave.
‘They listen to one thing, and in two minutes they have already forgot. I like to lead by example. Some follow me, not much…
‘They don’t care. Some ones yes, but most of them no. To me it is not surprising. They are not going to have longevity in their careers.
‘It is impossible. My generation you see players at 36, 37, 38 playing at a high level. I don’t think many in this [new] generation are going to reach that level.’
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