Wayne Rooney has accused former Manchester United teammate Cristiano Ronaldo of becoming a ‘distraction’ for the club this season because of his ‘unacceptable’ behaviour in recent months.
After making a sensational return to Old Trafford at the start of last season, Ronaldo asked to leave United during the summer after the club failed to qualify for the Champions League.
With no suitable offers coming in, Sporting CP was one of the last clubs to explore a potential deal in the final days of the summer transfer window.
Ronaldo, who turns 38 in February, has fallen out of favor with United boss Erik ten Hag this season, often having to make do with substitutes or appearances in the Europa League.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner, who has scored just once in 10 Premier League games, is clearly frustrated with his changing position. Against Tottenham, he got off the bench and walked through the tunnel before the game ended, with Ten Hag later confirming that he refused to come on.
Rooney and Ronaldo played together for five years until the latter left for Real Madrid in 2009, marking one of the club’s most concentrated periods of success.
But Ronaldo returned to another club in 2021 and things did not go as expected, while Rooney also accused former United captain Roy Keane of being hypocritical about the situation.
“The things he has done since the start of the season are not acceptable for Manchester United. I saw Roy Keane defend him. Roy wouldn’t accept that. Roy wouldn’t accept it at all,” Rooney explained during an appearance on talkSPORT.
“It’s a distraction that Manchester United don’t need at the moment, they’re trying to restore it.”
“For Cristiano, you just have to put your head down and work and be ready to play when the manager needs you. If he does, he will be an asset. If he doesn’t, it becomes an unwanted distraction.”