Cristiano Ronaldo has tipped Manchester United and Portugal teammate Diogo Dalot to have a long career at the highest level, but claims young players on the whole coming through now ‘don’t care’ and lack the same ‘hunger’ as previous generations.
Ronaldo is widely recognised to have established himself as one of the greatest of all time through an unquenchable work ethic and quite ridiculous determination.
There are countless stories from former teammates about how he has trained relentlessly throughout his career. As a result, he has had a professional career spanning 20 years and that has seen him play in almost 1,150 games for club and country and score well over 800 goals.
Ronaldo claims that young players today don’t have that kind of mentality because of the way modern technology has changed society and become a distraction.
“I don’t think that they don’t respect the more experienced players or the older players, but they live in a different era,” he told TalkTV.
“I can say that for my kid that’s 12 years old, the mentality is not the same.
“Their hunger [is different]. I think they have things more easily, everything’s easy, they don’t suffer – and they don’t care.
“I don’t mean only a few in Manchester United, but all the teams in all leagues in the world, the youngers are not the same of my generation. But you cannot blame them, because it’s part of the life and the new generation, the new technologies that distract them.”
But Ronaldo did at least pick out 23-year-old Dalot among the younger generation as someone he think is doing it right.
“If you tell me what I see in Manchester United, I can mention probably Diogo Dalot,” the five-time Ballon d’Or winner explained. “He’s young but he’s very professional and I have no doubts that he’s going to have longevity in football. He’s young, smart, intelligent and he’s very professional.”
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