Glenn Murray has torn into Cristiano Ronaldo and pointed to the model behaviour of Liverpool veteran James Milner to highlight the Manchester United outcast’s shortcomings.
Ronaldo has sent shockwaves through football this week courtesy of an explosive, unsanctioned interview with Piers Morgan, which saw him criticise boss Erik ten Hag, the Glazer family and several of his former United colleagues.
The 37-year-old’s comments have not gone down well with either his Manchester United teammates or the club hierarchy. His position at Old Trafford is now believed to be untenable – and Murray thinks that the Portuguese veteran could learn a thing or two from Milner, who celebrated his 600th Premier League appearance at the weekend.
“It makes Ronaldo look even worse leading into this story, doesn’t it?” Murray told BBC Radio 5 Live Sport while discussing Milner’s major milestone.
“600 appearances. Everything good you can say about James Milner. I was reading something about an evaluation when he was 12, so it was in 1998, and even then, it said ‘natural leader, sets good examples, a great attitude and very confident’.
“24 years later, you can actually say exactly the same about him. For me, we question Cristiano Ronaldo about not evolving as you demise as a footballer, which is natural as a footballer. He, for me, has evolved through a massive change in football. Technically, tactically and physically.
While Murray believes Milner’s model behaviour will endear him for roles in the game when he does decide to hang up his boots, the former Brighton striker highlighted how Ronaldo’s volatile behaviour has already deterred potential suitors.
Murray added: “I think his [Milner’s] whole demeanour opens up a lot of options for him, but whereas what we say with Ronaldo, it has closed a lot of doors on him. No one wants to take him when you act like that.
“Milner, week in and week out, he does as he is told. He is a team player. Why wouldn’t you take him on to drop those pearls of wisdom in the team around him?”
Meanwhile, Ronaldo could be left in no man’s land if he struggles to engineer a move away from Old Trafford once the transfer window reopens in the New Year after failing to secure a switch in the summer.
Mirror Football understands that Ronaldo’s Manchester United teammates have no desire for the Portuguese forward to return to the club following his explosive comments.
Ten Hag has also made it clear that there is ‘no way’ that Ronaldo can play for him again following the unsanctioned interview, which comes just weeks after he refused to come on as a substitute in a match against Tottenham.