Rio Ferdinand says he would have told Cristiano Ronaldo to ‘sit down’ when he started barking instructions from the touchline during Manchester United’s defeat to Young Boys.
The Portuguese forward continued his superb start to life at the club by opening the scoring in the opening Champions League group match.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka was sent off shortly before the break, and Young Boys scored twice in the second half to win 2-1.
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Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes were withdrawn in the 72nd minute of the game – a decision which has prompted criticism of Solskjaer for being too defensive.
But rather than sit on the bench with the rest of the team, Ronaldo stood up and screamed instructions from the technical area, standing with Solskjaer, while Fernandes also joined in.
Reacting to Ronaldo’s antics on BT Sport after the game, Rio Ferdinand said: ‘If I’m the manager, I’ve got to be honest, I’m telling him to sit down.’
Fellow pundit Peter Crouch agreed, saying: ‘If I’m sitting on the bench as well I’m telling him to sit down. But he is Cristiano, we’ll let him do it.’
However, Ferdinand did soften his stance a little, he added: ‘I get it. You know, with Cristiano people go, “Oh it’s bravado, it’s for the fans”. He’s just a passionate guy. He wants to win, he’s desperate to win, and he can’t hold it in.
‘If that means he has to go up there and stand next to the manager, shouting instructions etcetera, so be it. When it’s someone of his standing and stature in the game how can you argue with it?’
On the decision to substitute Ronaldo and Fernandes after 72 minutes, Solskjaer said: ‘The game had gone 70-odd minutes, they had been running a lot on Saturday and today. We wanted Nemanja Matic’s experience to keep hold of the ball and Jesse Lingard’s legs.’