Cristiano Ronaldo questions young players’ reaction to criticism


Manchester United striker Cristiano Ronaldo has suggested that modern young players “do not accept criticism” in the middle of the club’s struggle so far this season.

United are currently seventh in the Premier League, far away from where they were expected to be when Ronaldo arrived this summer, and have struggled to perform throughout the campaign.

Poor performances and results inevitably led to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer being fired, but interim manager Ralf Rangnick has so far failed to get the best out of the squad at his disposal. It is the intention that the fans’ attention has been directed towards the current team – with massive concerns about effort levels and application in matches.

Ronaldo, who spoke to Premier League Productions, admitted that he thinks today’s players need to take ownership of their own performances – even though he hinted that he was not talking about his United team-mates.

“The mature players, the older players can always help the young players,” said Ronaldo. “But, I can give you an example, if I give you advice, even if you are younger than me and if you do not implant it in everyday life, it will be difficult.

“You can talk to that person all day. If he does not come from inside you it is impossible. I remember when I was 18, 19, 20, some old players talked to me and I put it like ‘Cristiano, you know you have to improve. They know more than you, they are more experienced than you. They went through many bad times.

“But the other people [youngsters], they do not accept it if you criticize them. I do not say this in relation to our players but in general. I have children, I know. Sometimes when you’re a little harder they do the opposite, you have to find the right balance to talk to them. “

Ronaldo came as a well-known group of experienced and successful professionals when he came to United in 2003, and bad habits were even kicked out of him in training, as former teammates have attested. But Ronaldo believes that the world has changed.

“In my opinion, the main point is that it should come from within you,” he continued. “You should be proud of yourself, look in the mirror and say, listen, I gave everything. And I think we should all do that. Because it’s a new year, we change sides, we have many things to gain, we must believe in it, otherwise it will be a nightmare.

“The individual is the most important thing. We are here to help when they need my help, my support, my advice, I will be number one to help but if you do not want my help, do your job, look for yourself and do your best to help the team.

– We must have the right mentality. I look at myself and say ‘Cristiano, what can you do better to improve your level to help the team? Yes, I can improve other things’. Maybe to sprint for 90 minutes, if something happens, to help your teammate if they are suffering or tired, the small details during the game, to be smart, to be intelligent.

“All matches are different, all players are different, the systems, the arenas so you have to be capable and ready when you suffer, when you fight in a match, to be compact, to want for your teammates and to be a team.

“For me, that’s why they call this team Manchester ‘United’. So we have to be united in these difficult times.”

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