John Barnes has launched a scathing attack on Cristiano Ronaldo for the negative impact he has had on the United dressing room and claims the Red Devils would have had a better campaign without him.
Ronaldo finished the 2021/2022 Premier League season with a tally of 18 goals, which makes him United’s most prolific goalscorer and the third highest in the overall Premier League standings.
It’s a pretty impressive return for a 37-year-old who has been spearheading the attack of a dismal United team.
A United team that hasn’t managed to register a single victory when the Portuguese icon hasn’t been the leading their forward line.
Barnes on Ronaldo’s negative attitude
Speaking on an end of season podcast for William Hill, per The Mirror, Barnes said: “He (Ronaldo) causes disunity and disharmony. When the ball does not come to him, he throws his hands up in the air… that’s a great example, isn’t it?
“The harmony at Manchester United is a problem and who causes that disharmony? He walks around as though … ‘it’s the rest of them, I’m doing my job’.
“That’s not what a leader does – that’s what someone who does it for himself does. The fans love him and when things don’t go his way, he’s like … ‘it’s not my fault.’ That is not what a team is all about.
“So we know Ronaldo has done well for himself but would you rather have no-one scoring 20 goals a season and United finishing higher up?”
Ronaldo has unusually been subjected to copious amounts of media pressure this season mainly because of his inability to press, something which The Athletic recently reported Ralf Rangnick said “led to stylistic compromise”.
But to question Ronaldo’s attitude is something new all together. Nevertheless, Barnes believes that it has hampered the performance of other key United players.
Barnes continued: “He detracts from other players. (Marcus) Rashford would have had a better season, (Bruno) Fernandes would have had a better season, (Jadon) Sancho would have had a better season. Whoever signed Ronaldo, it is their fault.”
Barnes looking ahead to next season
So, we get the former Liverpool man has not been impressed with Ronaldo’s return to the UK.
However, does he share that opinion with Erik ten Hag? We’ve heard the Dutchman be critical of Ronaldo in the past when comparing him to his mortal rival Lionel Messi.
Ten Hag has recently tried to squash any suggestion that Ronaldo might not feature in his plans for the upcoming campaign, but Barnes, unsurprisingly, thinks the new boss would be better off without him.
Barnes said: “Would United be a better team without Ronaldo? I think they would. You think they will be better if Ronaldo stays next season? No chance!”