Cristiano Ronaldo struggling to watch 'different' Manchester United

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Cristiano Ronaldo believes Manchester United has changed significantly since his departure in 2009 and is finding it hard to see his former team struggle.

The Real Madrid superstar has gone on to reach stratospheric heights since swapping Old Trafford for the Bernabeu, recently becoming the Spanish club's all-time top goalscorer.

But Ronaldo still holds a very special place in his heart for the Red Devils. He won his first Champions League title, his first Ballon d'Or and his first golden boot under the stewardship of Sir Alex Ferguson, eventually convincing Real Madrid to pay £80million to sign him.


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While Real Madrid have remained one of football's superpowers, Manchester United's standing has fallen significantly since Ferguson's retirement in 2013. The Red Devils have not won a trophy in the subsequent two seasons, even failing to qualify for Europe under David Moyes.

Ronaldo, 30, admits it has been difficult to watch his former club fall from grace and believes the club is fundamentally different from the one he left behind.

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"It's different. I don't say that it's better or worse but it changed a lot," Ronaldo told BBC Sport. "Manchester, it changed. Many great players retired. For example: [Rio] Ferdinand, [Ryan] Giggs, [Paul] Scholes, Gary Neville, Phil Neville, et cetera...

"I move to Real Madrid, Sir Alex Ferguson's gone... the structured changed, in my opinion. This is why Manchester is not the same Manchester of six years ago. This is a fact, it's true.

"For me it's hard to see that because it's a club I love and of course I want to see Manchester United in a level that it was in the past.

"I like to see the club that I like in the top - and I think Manchester, this season, is better but I think they still have work to do to be in [the] level of six, seven years ago."

Boring, Boring United

While Ronaldo did not admit it, United have undoubtedly changed for the worse since he left. The team have managed to score just once in their last four games and have been criticised for their lack of creativity.

Wayne Rooney, as both the captain and the main striker, has come in for the most criticism, but it was his header that ended what was a worrying goal drought against CSKA Moscow on Tuesday evening.

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Premier League
Manchester United
Cristiano Ronaldo
Real Madrid

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