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Rio Ferdinand offers Cristiano Ronaldo backing

Rio Ferdinand offers Cristiano Ronaldo backing
© Reuters
Former Manchester defender Rio Ferdinand has offered his backing to Cristiano Ronaldo, who has expressed his desire to leave the club this summer.

Rio Ferdinand has offered his support to former Manchester United team mate Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Portugal international has expressed a desire to leave Man United this summer after they failed to qualify for the Champions League.

Ronaldo reportedly feels as though he is unable to fulfil his ambitions at United, with the 37-year-old keen to fight for major honours in the backend of his career.

Rio Ferdinand has publicly backed Ronaldo's stance, telling his Five YouTube channel: "Of course he's not happy! You're talking about Cristiano Ronaldo here! I don't understand how it's a big story that Cristiano Ronaldo is not happy with the way things are at Man United. He can't be. I wouldn't be.

"Anyone who wants to win football matches or trophies, anyone who is used to winning and competing every year at the top of the table for the biggest prizes, and then all of a sudden isn't - and doesn't even qualify for the Champions League - you can't sit here and expect them to be happy.

"He's not happy with missing out on the Champions League, he doesn't even know what the Europa League soundtrack sounds like! When that comes on, he's going to be thinking "what dance am I in here?"

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their first goal with Jadon Sancho and Alex Telles on March 12, 2022© Reuters

The former Man United and England player also hit back at critics that have questioned the reason why Ronaldo has not returned to pre-season training.

"I've been seeing people being a touch disrespectful, the way that people are questioning 'he's not here' and the hysteria surrounding it. A member of his family is not well, so he's not at training.

"This is the most consummate, most professional athlete that we've seen on these shores. The most professional athlete we've seen for over 15 years and people are questioning this guy's professionalism and why he's not at the training ground.

Ferdinand added: "Yeah he might want to leave, he might not be happy with certain things at the football club, but in terms of professionalism, this guy is training where he is - we've seen the pictures. His family are there, he needs to be where they are and you have to respect that. Simple as. Could it have been communicated better by the club? Probably."

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring against Arsenal on December 2, 2021© Reuters

The 43-year-old also backed Ronaldo's concerns over United's inactivity in the transfer market.

"He [Ronaldo] will be sitting there on his sun lounger, on his yacht, on his jet, wherever he is in the world and seeing Man City signing Haaland. Seeing Liverpool signing Nunez among other players. Phillips has gone to City as well.

"He'll be sitting there thinking 'we had work to do to catch these guys anyway before these big signings and now they're jumping even further away from us'. Arsenal are making moves, he'll be thinking 'when is my team going to start making moves?'. We all know we need some new faces in that building. He hasn't seen any movement.

"I understand the frustrations. I definitely would be frustrated. I as a player was on to the manager, on to David Gill [asking] who are we signing? That's the way I was. I'm sure that's what Cristiano is like and other players will be like that as well. He's the biggest name but he won't be the only one who's disgruntled with the way things are.

"We're slow out of the blocks in the transfer market. There will have been work going on behind the scenes at Man United but we're all human, we're all impatient and we all want it done."

Chelsea are said to be preparing to make an official bid for the veteran attacker.

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