Ferdinand says Ronaldo will NOT accept sitting on the bench

‘I know for a fact he will be absolutely FUMING’: Rio Ferdinand insists Cristiano Ronaldo will NOT accept sitting on the bench at Manchester United but warns his former team-mate isn’t ‘going to be capable’ of leaving Old Trafford this summer

  • Cristiano Ronaldo was left on the bench by Erik ten Hag for back-to-back games
  • Portuguese will not be happy at the current state of play, believes Rio Ferdinand
  • Former team-mate of Ronaldo says he won’t accept the current situation 

Rio Ferdinand has said that Cristiano Ronaldo would have been ‘absolutely fuming’ at having to sit on the bench for Manchester United’s past two games. 

The Portuguese, 37, did not start either of United’s last two fixtures – against Liverpool and Southampton – with manager Erik ten Hag instead opting to start Marcus Rashford in the centre forward position. 

Speculation has been abound this summer surrounding the future of Ronaldo with the Portuguese having made it be known through various channels that he wishes to depart the club. 

Rio Ferdinand said that his former team-mate will be ‘absolutely fuming’ at being on the bench

Ten Hag had initially wanted to keep the player but his stance has since softened and would be open to Ronaldo leaving. So far no club matching Ronaldo’s criteria has emerged as a viable destination. 

Speaking on his own Vibe with Five podcast, Ferdinand said: ‘Whether he stays or not, none of us know. But knowing Cristiano [Ronaldo], I know for a fact that he will be absolutely fuming right now.

‘Forget who’s starting in front of him, [that] he’s not starting. You don’t get to do what he’s done in his career over this amazing amount of time at the levels he’s been playing by being someone who’s going to accept not starting and being a sub for a team that isn’t in the Champions League.’

Ferdinand suggested that for some players, sitting on the bench and playing a bit-part role would be ‘cool’, but that Ronaldo was not ‘built like that’. 


Ronaldo has seen his place as the side’s main centre forward fall to Marcus Rashford in the past two fixtures

‘Ronaldo is not built like that,’ he said. ‘You can’t expect him to change at 37 [years-old]. 

‘He’d have been the same at 21 [years-old]. We were talking before the game with [Paul] Scholes…I remember when [David] Beckham got dropped a couple of games, the [Real] Madrid game [in 2003] etc., he [was] fuming. Superstars are built differently.

‘They don’t believe they have bad games, they don’t believe they don’t play well [and] they don’t believe they get things wrong in their game because they are so hell-bent on success and their belief in their skills and themselves that they don’t see failures.’

The Portuguese is not ‘built’ to sit on the bench and watch on, said Ferdinand on Monday

Debate has raged since Ronaldo arrived at the club surrounding his suitability to a modern, elite side. 

Some individuals have questioned whether or not the Portuguese works hard enough for the team while others have countenanced those doubts by saying that he scored the most goals out of any United player last season. 

Ferdinand weighed into the debate by offering an insight into what Ronaldo might think about those who doubt his work ethic for the team. 

‘Whatever anyone says about running, pressing etc., he will be sitting there going “I scored 24 goals last season. The hardest thing to do in football is putting the ball in the back of the net and I did it 24 times last year.”‘

The former United defender said that Ronaldo (L) will likely stay at the club now this summer

Asked whether he believed Ronaldo will stay or go, Ferdinand said that he ‘did not believe’ he will depart the club owing to the fact that there’s not going to be any side out there capable of affording his astronomical wages. 

‘Financially, I just don’t think it’s going to be capable (sic) of happening in this window,’ the former United defender said.

Concerns might therefore be raised about the suitability of having a player around who will not like being on the bench, something that has the potential to destabilise the rest of the playing squad. 

Ferdinand, however, said that he believed his former team-mate to be ‘calculated and intelligent enough to not want to destabilise the regime’. 

‘He may be prickly at times, but you will not see a drop in intensity, focus and professionalism. I don’t think he’ll be stand-offish and blank people and be an absolute eye sore in the place, I don’t think he’s like that,’ he added.  

Ronaldo had been vying for a move away from the club this summer after they failed to reach the Champions League last term

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