Cristiano Ronaldo came under fire for his behaviour after Manchester United’s 1-1 draw at Newcastle United on Monday night.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was left to feed off scraps as the Red Devils slumped to a tepid display in the Premier League that could have been even worse if not for David de Gea’s heroics.
However, in the opinion of many, that couldn’t excuse Ronaldo’s reaction to the full-time whistle with the Portuguese believed to have headed straight down the tunnel without acknowledging the fans.
Ronaldo walks off vs Newcastle
Ian Ladyman, the Football Editor of the Daily Mail, noted on Twitter: “Ronaldo straight down the tunnel at full time. No acknowledgement of travelling fans who face 150 miles back home in the rain.
“No acknowledgement of opponents. Does it every week. Abysmal. He is part of this team and should be reminded of that.”
Gary Neville picked up on Ronaldo’s reaction, too; remarking in a criticism of his former teammate during Monday Night Football that he should be sending a better message to the younger players.
Newcastle vs Man Utd Match Reaction (Football Terrace)
The United legend opined: “I don’t care how you’ve played, You need to go over and clap those fans at the end of the game. Get over to them, particularly when you’re the best player in the world and one of the greatest all-time.”
When you consider all the money and effort that travelling fans put into seeing their teams on the road, you can understand Neville and Ladyman calling for Ronaldo to at least acknowledge them.
However, it’s far from the first time that we’ve seen something like this happen in the Premier League with one of Ronaldo’s former Real Madrid buddies coming under fire for a similar scenario.
When Mertesacker went for Ozil
According to the Mirror, Mesut Ozil got an earful from Per Mertesacker after a crushing 6-3 defeat at Manchester City in the 2013/14 season because he “refused to thank Arsenal’s travelling fans.”
And the episode was even caught on camera with Mertesacker going over to the dejected Ozil with a barrage of pointing and shouting that couldn’t stop the playmaker from simply vacating the pitch.
It really is proactive and passionate leadership of the likes we didn’t see from United players as Ronaldo stormed down the tunnel, so be sure to check out the remarkable footage down below:
You do not want to get on the wrong side of Mertesacker, that’s for sure.
Imagine if Maguire called out Ronaldo
However, despite Mertesacker’s visible anger, Arsene Wenger didn’t seem too bothered as the Arsenal boss remarked after the game: “The Germans will sort that out themselves, so don’t worry.”
It does make you wonder what would have happened in a world where Harry Maguire chased down Ronaldo for his apparent snubbing of the United fans who made the long trip to St. James’ Park.
You’ll forgive us for thinking that it might not have gone done as well as Mertesacker’s intervention with Ozil, but it would certainly have had Neville cheering if nothing else.