Michael Carrick says there is no rift between him and Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo
There were talks about a potential rift when Michael Carrick put Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench when Manchester United faced Chelsea in Premier League last weekend.
Despite being brought on in the second half, speculation regarding a rift between the pair was prevalent.
Speaking in the pre-match presser (h/t Daily Mail Online), Carrick was adamant that there is no issue between him and Ronaldo, and the decision to bench him was well received. He added how the star man was professional like always and had shown no signs of any frustration.
Some changes were noticeable given the Portuguese’s absence, especially with their pressing as Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho played in a two-man frontline. While the Blues were dominant, United did look much better compared to how they were during the last days of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign.
“I didn’t see it as a major decision. We all got on really well, the game went well to an extent and it wasn’t a drama. It seems like it’s a big decision but really, between us and me personally, it wasn’t. You can ask Cristiano, the way he responded was perfection.”
“Around the dressing room he was incredible and supported the players. I went in to do my half-time team talk and he was warming up 10 minutes in advance ready to come on in the second half. A lot can be made of it, spin it in a negative way, but behind the scenes the reality is very different.”
Those who have watched CR7 during his time at Real Madrid may have noticed that he was not playing every single game. Zinedine Zidane used to manage his minutes well and was not afraid to pull him when needed. But the clear difference is how the snub from the starting lineup was in a high profile match.
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Some may argue that Cristiano is much older than his time at Santiago Bernabeu, and he cannot start every game. However, a counterargument would be why was not he benched in a fixture against “lesser” opposition. Looking at the circumstance, it is arguably a tactical switch that the former England international made.
It is good to see that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has accepted the decision for the team’s benefit. At the same time, it also sends a subtle message on how he has to press more. This would especially be the case under Ralf Rangnick.