‘B*llocks!’ – Ronaldo pressing critics anger Ferdinand as he makes ‘f*cking unbelievable’ director claim
Rio Ferdinand has hit out at Cristiano Ronaldo’s critics, stating that it’s “b*llocks” to blast his pressing game at Manchester United – while adding that he would make a great sporting director.
The veteran Portuguese forward has found his goalscoring touch since arriving back at Old Trafford, scoring nine times in all competitions, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have made an inconsistent start to the season.
The 36-year-old has, however, received criticism from some for his apparent lack of pressing from the front, although his former teammate Ferdinand insists that chasing opponents down should not be expected of him.
What’s been said?
“It’s b*llocks,” the former defender told The Athletic when Ronaldo’s lack of pressing was brought up. “You’re not talking about Joe Bloggs. You’re talking about one of the greatest, if not the greatest, goalscorers in the history of the game
“You don’t buy him to run and press people. Real Madrid didn’t buy him in his pomp to go and press defenders – what do you want it now for? It makes no sense to me.
“Is Robert Lewandowksi’s main attribute pressing? When everyone was calling Harry Kane the best No.9 in the world, were they saying, ‘He’s an unbelievable presser’?
“Sergio Aguero, best No.9 in the Premier League for years. Did people say, ‘He presses unbelievably’? It doesn’t happen. Does Lionel Messi press? He leaves it alone.”
What else did Ferdinand say about Ronaldo?
Ferdinand also discussed Ronaldo’s work ethic and how, at 36, he has had to adapt his preparation to make the biggest impact.
He added: “Recovery for my generation after a hard training session would be an all-dayer going to a bar,” he added. “Even at United, we’d do that if we didn’t have a game. But he wasn’t on that, even then.
“He did his nutrition right. He just wanted to better himself. That sounds simple but it takes a lot of dedication. He’s more intense now.
“When you sit with him he is thinking about the little percentages, little details, because he knows he’s in the latter end of his career – he needs to care even more now.
“That is probably his most important quality, outside of the physical attributes he’s been blessed with. His mindset is unrivalled.
“I think he would see the Europa League as a blemish on his resume. That’s where his standards are. He has nine goals this season and they’ve almost all been game-changing.
“[it’s] crazy. I don’t know in the history of the game if there’s been a more clutch player than him.”
Does Ferdinand want to be a sporting director?
Much had been made of the lack of a sporting director position at United in the past, with John Murtough having been appointed football director at the club in March, and Ferdinand believes he would be “[expletive] unbelievable” at the job.
“Maybe one day if the right opportunity came,” Ferdinand said when asked about potentially becoming a sporting director. “I think I’d be [expletive] unbelievable at it. It’s not a given. Being a good player doesn’t mean you’re gonna be a good manager.
“A technical director is exactly the same. There are different attributes you need. You have to have a good team around you, be a good organiser, make sure you manage people.
“Then, you obviously analyse all the data that gets thrown at you. You’ve got to see a player’s potential and put the time in.”