Jamie Carragher has stoked the fire of his feud with Cristiano Ronaldo by saying that the former Manchester United forward is no longer worth the “hassle.”
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The Liverpool legend and Ronaldo have been embroiled in war of words over the past few months, with Carragher critical of the Portuguese star’s reported negative impact since returning to Old Trafford in August 2021.
With Ronaldo now out of the door at Old Trafford, thanks to an explosive interview with Piers Morgan which burned his bridges and led to the club terminating his contract, Carragher was asked to look back at the saga on the Diary on a CEO Podcast.
“Ronaldo hasn’t changed, he’s always been that sort of character, everyone’s known that – but he was worth the hassle,” the former England defender explained about the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
“And that’s like everything in football, when we talk about a manager making a decision, can you put up with that?
“You don’t cut off your nose to spite your face, but when it gets to that stage where you’re thinking, ‘this is becoming more of a problem’… I say to my son, every manager wants the same thing: high performance, low maintenance. That’s it. When it starts getting weighted to the high maintenance and the scales are more tilted towards high maintenance, it’s time to go.”
Despite his criticism, Carragher took time to laud Ronaldo’s achievements throughout his career and his “unbelievable” mental strength.
“I’m no huge Ronaldo fan, I think that’s pretty obvious and that’s not for his footballing ability, [but] I’ve actually got so much admiration for his mental strength,” the Sky Sports pundit went on to say.
“I think it’s unbelievable. I think [he’s] probably one of the strongest players mentally, because he’s had that thing his whole career, for how good he is, he’s still had [Lionel] Messi on his shoulder. He could never almost sit back and say, ‘I’m the best’ and relax, he’s always had this constant ‘yeah but you’re not as good as Messi’.
“I know it splits people, but I would say the majority of people would probably side with Messi, I think that they do. And I think to always have that thing of trying to prove people wrong, and I’ve got that but on a completely different level, it’s almost like he feels he’s not ready to leave.
“Everyone says he’s one of the best players of all time and I can’t help but admire that drive, because I’ve got that drive – just not that ability that he’s got!”