Cristiano Ronaldo may regret deciding to move back to Manchester United, according to former Netherlands and Milan legend Ruud Gullit, who also accused the club of “living in the past”.
Ronaldo returned to United in 2021 from Juventus, scoring 24 goals in 38 appearances in all competitions for the Red Devils.
However, despite the presence of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, United failed to win a trophy as they were knocked out of the Champions League last 16 by Atletico Madrid and finished sixth in the Premier League.
Ronaldo has reportedly expressed his desire to leave Old Trafford due to a lack of Champions League football, but United have shown no signs of allowing the Portugal international to move.
Speaking to Laureus, Gullit expressed his belief that the 37-year-old will want to be at his best at the World Cup in Qatar later this year, but that he could regret his decision to return to United.
“Ronaldo with Portugal, can he still do it?… I think he wants to show the world how good he is,” said Gullit. “That’s my feeling. The guy has incredible mental strength.”
“He doesn’t say it, but I think he regrets the fact that he went back to Man United because of the team that was there. I think he was hoping it would be better, so he wants to show everyone who criticized him what he is like.” I think he’s on a mission.
Gullit also had words of advice for Erik the Hag. His fellow Dutchman took over as United manager at the end of last season and did not get off to the best of starts as his new side lost 2-1 at home to Brighton and Hove Albion in their final opening game of the Premier League campaign. week.
“The Hag, I think he’s a good coach, but if you come with a Dutch mentality just to come to England, it’s difficult,” he said. “You have to adapt, you have to understand that you don’t just win games with football, you also need strength. You need strength, you need technique. You need stamina and the right mentality.”
“That’s why we love the Premier League. There are no easy games and that’s what you have to understand.”
Gullit – who himself managed Chelsea and Newcastle United during his Premier League days – also accused United of ‘living in the past’, adding: ‘I think there are a lot of problems at Man United.
“I think they live too much in the past,” he said. “There’s too much talk about the ’90s team. That’s a thing of the past.
“If you see the teams that played the football that [United] now want to play, but it’s too late. [Manchester City] Pep Guardiola did it, [Liverpool manager Jurgen] Klopp did it, [Chelsea manager Thomas] Tuchel did it. And [United] have hung in the past, [Louis] Van Gaal and [Jose] Mourinho too. Great managers, but there’s a new era. There’s a new way of playing and that’s why they’ve been behind.
“I think they also sacked Mourinho too early [in 2018]. I think because he still had a trophy when he was there with players who weren’t that good.
“It’s also that nowadays players want to go to different teams. They want to go to Liverpool, they want to go to City, they want to go to Chelsea. [United] are no longer the main team in England like they were with [Sir Alex] Ferguson. That’s the past .
“So you have to change your mentality a little bit and it will take time.
“Plus they have five ex-players talking about Manchester United every day. It’s tough and the only way to get through it is to win. And if you don’t, you’ll be looking at the papers every day.” , the first five, six articles about Man United, every day. It is difficult.”
Gullit also took time to acknowledge the work of former AC Milan striker, Ukraine international and Laureus Ambassador Andriy Shevchenko, who is working with Laureus to help refugee programs in Eastern Europe following the fallout of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“It is incredibly difficult for me to imagine what Andriy Shevchenko and his family have gone through in the last six months. I was pleased to see Andriy visit a refugee project in Warsaw that helps Ukrainians rebuild their lives away from the horrors of war,” he said.
“Nelson Mandela, a man I admire immensely and the man I dedicated my Ballon d’Or to in 1987, spoke at the first Laureus Awards and said: ‘Sport can create hope where there was once only despair’.
“Watching footage of Andriy’s visit to Laureus Sport for Good in Warsaw reminded me of Mandela’s words, but also of the incredible power sport can have to change lives. What Andriy and Laureus are doing to make a difference shows the power of sport around the world.” .”