“Time catches up with us all”- Wayne Rooney defends Manchester United manager’s treatment of Cristiano Ronaldo

Wayne Rooney backs Erik ten Hag as Cristiano Ronaldo finds himself on the bench at Manchester United

Manchester United icon Wayne Rooney has given his thoughts on Cristiano Ronaldo finding game time hard to come by under Erik ten Hag. The former Red Devil is of the opinion the Portuguese is not the same player he was.

Ronaldo has been relegated to a substitute role under the former Ajax head coach. The Portuguese has started just once in the Premier League for the Old Trafford side under the Dutch manager.

Speaking to reporters via Manchester Evening News, Rooney, who spent 13 years at Man United, feels Ten Hag has found success in his choices. The former England striker, who now manages DC United in the MLS, believes Ronaldo’s age has caught up with him.

Wayne Rooney feels age has caught up with Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo.
Wayne Rooney feels age has caught up with Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

“The manager’s obviously gone a different way in terms of how they’re playing and been successful.

“Cristiano… him and (Lionel) Messi are two of the greatest players to ever play the game, but ultimately time catches up with us all. He’s obviously not the player he was when he was 22 or 23, for instance. It’s a tough one for him.”

Rooney and Ronaldo played together under Sir Alex Ferguson during Man United’s heydays. The duo partnered in the frontline at Old Trafford for five seasons before the Portuguese left for Real Madrid.

Ronaldo struggling for form

Ronaldo came back to the Theatre of Dreams last year. The 37-year-old had left the club to join Los Blancos as one of the best in 2009. After his stint in Spain and Juventus, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner returned to Manchester.

The former Sporting CP star had a decent first season back at United. The 37-year-old ended the campaign as our leading goalscorer.

Cristiano Ronaldo has found it tough at Manchester United this season.
Cristiano Ronaldo has found it tough at Manchester United this season. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

However, the arrival of Ten Hag has seen Ronaldo go down the pecking order. Unfortunately, the. The Portugal international has not been in the best of nicks either. In nine appearances this season, the 37-year-old has scored just one goal.

Against Omonia Nicosia in United’s last fixture, Ronaldo cut a frustrating figure on the pitch. The Portuguese did not have his shooting boots on and missed some clear opportunities.

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Father time catches up with everyone. However, it remains to be seen whether Ronaldo is able to turn his fortunes around in Manchester.