Man Utd backed over Cristiano Ronaldo as club prepare for life after blockbuster star | Football | Sport

Manchester United have been backed by former Premier League manager Ian Holloway after Cristiano Ronaldo left the club in the wake of his explosive interview with Piers Morgan last month. The Portugal striker said he had “no respect” for manager Erik ten Hag and “felt betrayed” by the Old Trafford club before his contract was cancelled by mutual consent.

“I believe Man United will be a much better unit with everybody pointing the same way on the same page,” Holloway exclusively told Express Sport. “So I believe they will get much stronger without him.

“The whole point is both parties have to be happy. And unfortunately someone to size of Ronaldo at Manchester United could unknowingly unsettle the apple cart and tip it right up the other way. Life’s about the club you’re playing for and doing what you want it to and you being part of that. It’s not all about you.”

Ronaldo missed United’s summer tour and reportedly pushed for a move away from Old Trafford ahead of the current season. He ultimately stayed in the north west, before eventually ending his time with the Red Devils months later. And Holloway believes the 13-time Premier League champions should have played things differently.

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“That man has earned the right to do whatever he wants in my opinion,” the 59-year-old explained. “And to still look after yourself and be as fit as he is at his age is quite incredible. The desire that that man has to try and be the best he can ever be is quite phenomenal.

“So whatever happens now, I wish him all the very best. He’s got every right to choose and do whatever he wants to do. He’s got my utmost respect. Yes, he’s made some mistakes lately but wow what a magnificent role model.”

During his time in charge of Blackpool, Holloway jokingly revealed that he hoped Ronaldo was “hung like a hamster” after acknowledging the striker was “six-foot-something, fit as a flea and good looking.” And the ex-Leicester manager admits that that mystery is yet to be solved. “Yeah well I can’t ever tell you about that one because was I right or was I not?” he added. “Who knows?”

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