News
Cristiano Ronaldo

Carragher tells Man Utd to sell Ronaldo to avoid making 'bigger mistake' as he points finger at 'CR7 brand'

11:14 SAST 2022/02/18
Cristiano Ronaldo Man Utd 2021-22
The Red Devils have been warned that a five-time Ballon d'Or winner is having a detrimental impact on Ralf Rangnick's squad

Jamie Carragher has told Manchester United to sell Cristiano Ronaldo to avoid making a "bigger mistake", with the former Liverpool defender pointing a critical finger at the "CR7 brand".

Ronaldo made his long-awaited return to Old Trafford from Juventus in last summer's transfer window, with United spending £20 million ($27m) to re-sign the striker.

During his first spell in Manchester between 2003 and 2009, Ronaldo became a club legend by scoring 118 goals and winning three Premier League titles and the Champions League, but his homecoming has been somewhat disappointing.

What's been said?

United finished second in the Premier League last term but currently sit in fifth under interim boss Ralf Rangnick, and have also suffered early exits in the Carabao Cup and FA Cup.

Ronaldo was criticised for his negative body language during a six-game goal drought before getting back on the scoresheet in spectacular fashion as the Red Devils beat Brighton 2-0 on Tuesday.

Carragher feels the media circus that follows the 37-year-old after every performance is hindering the squad's overall development, with the ex-Liverpool and England star telling The Telegraph: "Cristiano Ronaldo’s invaluable contribution to Manchester United’s Premier League win over Brighton was another reminder of his unparalleled appetite for goals.

"But it does not change this reality: United made a mistake re-signing Ronaldo last summer. It will be a bigger one keeping him next season.

"Whether United wins, loses or Ronaldo scores or goes through a mini goal-drought, it is still too much about the CR7 brand and not enough about the team. After United’s midweek win, Ronaldo posted on social media about ‘the noise’ around the club. He cannot ignore where a lot of that noise comes from."

Carragher defends his punditry

Carragher has expressed concern over Ronaldo's impact at United on multiple occasions in 2021-22, calling his attitude and lack of work rate out of possession into question.

It has been suggested that the Sky Sports pundit is being too harsh on the five-time Ballon d'Or winner, but he stands by his comments and believes the Red Devils would be better off if they let him go in the summer.

"There is noise generated every time Ronaldo heads down the tunnel after another disappointing result. There is noise every time a story is leaked about him ‘considering his future’ at the end of the season," Carragher added.

"Rangnick’s arrival was always going to amplify the situation and become a source of intrigue for tactical connoisseurs. Ronaldo does not press. Even in his prime, he didn’t press.

"Whenever I say that on TV, or make that point in these columns, it is interpreted as harsh criticism. It isn’t. It is a considered, factual observation.

"No single player can ever be bigger than the club. My conclusion last August was that re-signing Ronaldo was likely to create more problems than it solved for United. If his United reunion is limited to one season, letting him go will solve more problems than it creates."

Further reading