Ronaldo looks set to tarnish his Man Utd legacy even more

Rashford pays tribute to Ronaldo after Man Utd exit

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Cristiano Ronaldo is, according to reports, on the verge of signing for Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr in a deal that will be worth a huge £173million to him. And it makes his decision to leave Manchester United, in such controversial circumstances, all the more baffling. He didn’t rip apart the club to play at the top. Instead, he’s now primed for one final lucrative payday…

Ronaldo had tried to leave Manchester United at the end of last season, despite previously suggesting he’d be open to working with Erik ten Hag at Old Trafford.

Yet the Portugal international ended up being forced to stay put, with no European clubs coming in for him despite links to the likes of Atletico Madrid, Napoli, Borussia Dortmund and Chelsea.

Ronaldo would get his way earlier this month, however. After criticising Ten Hag, and the Glazers, the Red Devils had no other choice but to cut their No 7 loose.

The 37-year-old appears to have tarnished his legacy at Old Trafford. Sometimes, going back to an ex isn’t worth the hassle nor the fuss.

It wasn’t just his criticism that overstepped the mark. Running to Morgan, long one of the industry’s most-controversial figures, didn’t help matters either.

Ronaldo also took aim at Wayne Rooney, even going as far to criticise the way his old team-mate was looking these days. Rooney may not possess supermodel looks, but he’s at least devoid of any plastic surgery – a hair transplant aside.

Gary Neville copped some flak as well. He’s paid to give his opinion on Sky Sports, just like Ronaldo is paid to score goals. Neville is still doing his job – the Red Devils’ former No 7 had stopped doing his.

Sir Alex Ferguson always thought that, once a player was leaving United, they wouldn’t be going anywhere better.

And Ronaldo ripping the Red Devils apart, only to end up making a move to Saudi Arabia, indicates his old manager was right.

Lionel Messi, his long-term rival, will still be playing in the Champions League this season. Though two years Ronaldo’s junior, it gives fans of the Argentina international yet more rocketfuel when it comes to arguing over the greatest player of all time.

He’s not left United behind in a mess, either. Far from it.

The Red Devils are, for the first time in a couple of years, playing with a clear identity and structure. With a genuinely impressive manager at the helm, with all due respect to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Antony have all enjoyed positive starts to the campaign. There’s hope Jadon Sancho can still come good, too, with the England international training in the Netherlands as he looks to rediscover the magic of old.

Ronaldo could have added to his United legend this season. The Red Devils are still in with a shout of winning every tournament they’re competing in.

Instead, he’s tarnished his legacy for the sunny shores of Saudi. Was it worth it? Only he’ll be able to answer that when he hangs up his boots at the end of his glittering career.

Meanwhile, speaking to Morgan recently, former Sky Sports anchor Richard Keys criticised the presenter for conducting the blockbuster Ronaldo interview.

“I think it’s badly-timed, I didn’t think he needed to volunteer for the aggravation that it’s brought him,” he said.

“Were I you, I would’ve said to him, ‘Listen I’m very, very keen that you sit down and talk with me but let’s get you sorted out first.

“Because we don’t want to taint the legacy. We don’t want you leaving Manchester United under a cloud and there’s no reason that you should.'”

Yet Morgan, when asked if he felt Ronaldo had damaged his legacy at United, then hit back by saying: “No I don’t think so.

“I don’t think a few months’ problems with Erik ten Hag and the coach he’d never heard of, [Ralf] Rangnick, is going to make any difference to the legacy of Ronaldo.”

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