• World Cup 2022

Roy Keane blasts ‘rubbish’ claim Portugal are better without Ronaldo

Roy Keane, Cristiano Ronaldo
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The former Manchester United captain had another heated discussion about Cristiano Ronaldo, this time with Gary Neville.

Roy Keane has branded claims that Portugal are better without Cristiano Ronaldo as ‘rubbish’.

The 51-year-old Irishman met with former United teammate Gary Neville and ex-Manchester City defender Micah Richards for Sky Bet in Qatar to discuss the World Cup ahead of the quarter-finals.

Naturally, Ronaldo’s bench role in Portugal’s 6-1 victory over Switzerland on Tuesday was brought up, with Neville suggesting the Selecao fare better without their captain.

Keane hits back at Neville

“You love that one, Gary,” Keane said to Neville. “They had a good result last night.

“When a team does well without Ronaldo, ‘we’re better off without Ronaldo,’ I hate that rubbish. Juventus haven’t done anything since he left a couple of years ago, they’ve been a disgrace.

“Last night, the manager made a decision, a correct decision, he thought ‘I need more mobility up front’, and the guy [Goncalo Ramos] scores a hat-trick and everyone’s going, that’s down to Ronaldo.”

In one final blow, Keane compared the twilight phase of Ronaldo’s career to Neville’s, whom he claims barely played for Manchester United in his final years as a footballer.

Neville then said he played 28 times in his final season, including 15 in the league, to which Keane replied: “15? Oh, wow. Amazing that.”

Ronaldo will hope to get back in the Portugal line-up on Saturday for the World Cup quarter-final against Morocco.