CR7’s second spell at Man Utd ended on Tuesday after the player and club agreed to part ways.
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag was wrong to treat Cristiano Ronaldo the way he did, according to Roy Keane, who insists world-class players have to be treated differently.
The former Red Devils captain also believes Ten Hag never wanted to make Ronaldo part of his plans and, therefore, should’ve allowed the attacker to leave in the summer before things got ‘really messy’.
Instead, Ronaldo left United under a cloud on Tuesday after airing his frustrations with the club and manager in an interview with Piers Morgan last week.
“I think it was on the cards for the last few months. Obviously, the interview was the tipping point for him,” Keane said on ITV.
“Life goes on. Manchester United are a great club; Cristiano is a great player. It’s a like a divorce or the end of a relationship – we all know how that feels – you go your separate ways. Life goes on.
“Great, great player for Manchester United. He should have left in the summer, whether that’s the player’s fault or the club’s.
“It was never going to happen. The new manager was never going to play him. You cannot have Ronaldo as a sub or a fringe player. It’s just not right. It’s sad, but these things happen.”
‘I don’t think Ten Hag comes out of it well’
On Ten Hag, who handed Ronaldo just four Premier League starts this season, Keane said: “I don’t think it’s been great management. It’s been difficult, but I don’t think the manager comes out of it well.
“People always praise the manager stating that he ‘put a marker down’, but part of management is looking after the top players.
‘You have to treat top world-class players differently. This idea that you have to treat everyone the same, you don’t.
“I’ll go back to it, a guy that scores goals for fun that can’t be a problem. I don’t want to go down the road of pressing again. I go back to the issue in the summer. The manager was never going to play him.
“Whatever about the system he was going to play, Ronaldo was never going to do that. He came back to the club because he was a great player and he would score you goals, get on the end of things. In the summer when the manager came in, everyone knew you know he wouldn’t play him, so let him go in the summer before it all got really messy.”