Roy Keane has again leapt to the defence of Cristiano Ronaldo after the Manchester United star refused to go on as a substitute against Tottenham before storming out of Old Trafford.
Ronaldo walked down the tunnel before the final whistle on Wednesday with his team-mates 2-0 up against Spurs. As a consequence, he has been fined and dropped by Erik ten Hag for United’s trip to Chelsea.
But former United captain Keane has sided with his former team-mate.
“I try to see it from a player’s point of view,” Keane told Sky Sports. “He’s obviously had enough and he’s lost his head. I think it’s been brewing now for the last few weeks.
“But I will still try and defend him. He is a human being, he’s got flaws. He feels frustrated that he’s not been getting opportunities, he’s had enough and walked down the tunnel. I think players have done a lot worse things at Manchester United. It happens, it’s human nature.
🗣 “He”s a human being, he’s got flaws. Players have done a lot worse things at Man United.”
Roy Keane has his say on Cristiano Ronaldo walking off and refusing to come onto the pitch against Tottenham pic.twitter.com/0WGI98EsOr
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) October 22, 2022
“Everyone was talking after the game about how they beat Spurs, how it was a big win, that it was the best performance in years… rubbish. Absolute rubbish.
“Spurs were terrible. United beat Spurs at home as well last year when Ronaldo got a hat-trick so he was more than capable of getting on the pitch and making a difference. But he has to take his punishment.
“Is there a way back for him? I’m not sure. I think his behaviour over the last week and when he refused to go on the other night… I’d be more worried if Ronaldo was sat on the bench every week, laughing his head off and not caring.
“The guy cares. I’ve said it before that this game is full of bluffers and he’s certainly not one of them. I think he cares about the club he wants to play. He needs to play. He’s a world-class player and people are saying he’s not the same player he was 10 years ago. Of course he’s not. But he was leading goalscorer last year. He went into a really bad Man Utd team last year and he was still leading goalscorer.
“I think in the last few weeks he’s been frustrated after the Man City game. He was sub against Everton and then taken off against Newcastle. The manager then wants to bring him on for a few minutes against Tottenham.
“They asked the manager in the press conference in the last few days ‘did Ronaldo refuse to come on?’. But they should ask him is ‘when were you going to put him on?’. Late in the game, two or three minutes to go, I’m not too sure that was a clever move.”
Read more: Cristiano Ronaldo and a bunch of other players who really should never have gone back
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