Gary Neville has taken a fresh swipe at Cristiano Ronaldo after the forward was dropped for Portugal’s thumping 6-1 victory over Switzerland on Tuesday.
- Cristiano Ronaldo ‘threatened to quit World Cup in tense talks’ after Portugal axe
- Erik ten Hag has heated row with Cadiz manager during Man Utd friendly defeat
Fernando Santos decided to name Ronaldo on the bench for Portugal’s last-16 clash against the Swiss, with Goncalo Ramos replacing him in the starting lineup.
It was a decision that finally paid off, however, with 21-year-old Ramos netting a hat-trick as Portugal booked their place in the quarter-final against Morocco.
But, Ronaldo drew most of the attention after the game with the five-time Ballon d’Or winner being the first Portugal star to walk down the tunnel while the rest of his teammates celebrated the win.
Then his girlfriend, Georgina Rodriguez, hit out at Santos for dropping the ‘best player in the world’, while also describing it a ‘shame’.
Following Ronaldo’s latest setback, Neville has admitted that teams are better off without him after the Red Devils confirmed he had left the club by mutual consent last month.
This was after Ronaldo conducted an interview with Piers Morgan, where he blasted a number of areas at Old Trafford, including Erik ten Hag and the Glazers.
Neville told Sky Bet : “Cristiano Ronaldo is the greatest player I’ve ever seen, and despite what he may think, I love him to bits – he is unbelievable. His long-term legacy is set. The problem I have is that his determination and single-mindedness has got him to where he is, but it led to his departure from Manchester United being a little scruffy.
“If he came out and did interviews where he said he was angry, I would’ve sided with him more, but bar his interview with Piers Morgan he hasn’t spoken publicly – or done an interview with the club. His managers – first Erik ten Hag and now Fernando Santos – have come out and said they are not happy with his behaviour.
“I worry about the influence he will have on other players when he refuses to be part of a team. Ronaldo is better than that. The biggest problem is that his managers at Portugal and Manchester United thought they were better without Ronaldo in the team, and he’s finding that difficult to come to terms with.
“Portugal’s best performance of the tournament, the 6-1 win over Switzerland, was without him – and they looked much more mobile. João Felix and Bruno Fernandes really came alive. This reminds me of United – they are better when he is not in the team.”