Manchester United and Manchester City are two of the biggest rivals in English football.
As such, it’s no surprise that so few players have traversed the battle-lines of the Manchester derby with the exception of Carlos Tevez, Denis Law, Brian Kidd and a select group of others.
However, recent reports suggest that one of the greatest footballers of all time, none other than Cristiano Ronaldo, could join that exclusive list of players in the coming days.
Ronaldo linked to Man City
In fact, Spanish publication AS reported this week that Ronaldo had agreed terms to sign for City until 2023, sealing a deal worth to €15 million-per-year net to leave Juventus after three years.
Now, it remains to be seen whether that deal will cross the line, but it’s still a mind-boggling situation that has got United fans thinking about how they would feel if Ronaldo started playing for City.
Understandably, there are more than a few fans who feel disgusted by the idea and no doubt many former pros who gave their life and soul to the Red Devils would feel similarly.
Major Manchester United Update (Football Terrace)
Neville and Schmeichel incident
And there’s a particular reason we bring up ex-United players because a certain Gary Neville, who made over 600 appearances in red, has previously displayed a very strong opinion on the matter.
That’s because Neville was infamously involved in an awkward moment with Peter Schmeichel when the two players met in the tunnel ahead of a Manchester derby in 2002.
With Schmeichel now donning the colours of Manchester City, he went up to his former teammate for a handshake only to be rejected – and the clip has since racked up 2.8 million views on YouTube.
And with a few United fans reminiscing on the moment in response to the Ronaldo rumours, now felt like a better time than most to reflect back on such an amusing incident, so check it out here:
Neville explains the episode
You really could cut the tension with a knife and Neville hasn’t backed down from his decision in the years since, standing by his behaviour when asked about the episode over 15 years down the line.
According to the Manchester Evening News, Neville explained to the ‘Quickly Kevin, Will He Score?’ podcast: “When you look back now and you’re 43, like I am, there’s two things about that.
“One, he left Man United at the age of whatever he was, 35, and he said he was retiring, basically to go abroad. At the time when he came back, he played for Manchester City.
“You can’t play for Manchester City. I’m a United fan and I can’t play for Manchester City, I can’t play for Leeds and I can’t play for Liverpool.
“That’s just written in stone. You just don’t play for those clubs, irrespective of what happens.
“He’d won the treble with United in ’99, said that he was retiring…he should have carried on playing for United for the next two or three years if that was the case. We struggled for a keeper between Peter and Edwin (Van der Sar).”
Perhaps Ronaldo shouldn’t count on a handshake from his former teammate if he decides to move to the Etihad Stadium this summer then…