‘Jealous’? Rooney responds to Ronaldo criticism

Wayne Rooney has responded after his former Manchester United teammate Cristiano Ronaldo called him “jealous” following Rooney’s criticisms of Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford during an appearance on Sky Sports earlier this week.

Rooney’s response: Who isn’t jealous of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner?

“There’s probably not a football player on the planet that isn’t jealous of Cristiano,” the Derby County manager told reporters at a news conference on Thursday. “The career he’s had, the trophies he’s won, the money he’s earned … the six-pack, his body. I think every player, bar probably Lionel Messi, is jealous of Cristiano.”

After Rooney posted a photo on Instagram of his appearance on Sky Sports alongside former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher, Ronaldo commented: “Two jealous.”

Speaking on Monday, Rooney was asked whether United’s signing of Ronaldo last summer had worked out.

“You’d have to say no at the minute,” Rooney responded. “He’s scored goals, important goals in the Champions League early on in the season. He scored obviously the hat trick against Tottenham.

“But I think if you’re looking to the future of the club, you have to go with younger, hungry players to lift Manchester United over these next two or three years.

“Obviously, Cristiano is getting on a bit. He certainly isn’t the player he was in his 20s, and that happens — that’s football. He’s a goal threat, but the rest of the game they need more and they need young, hungry players.”

Ronaldo has scored 18 goals in all competitions so far this season since arriving from Juventus. However, United are set to endure their fifth straight season without a trophy after their elimination from the Champions League by Atletico Madrid last month. They also face an uphill battle to make next season’s Champions League, with the side currently languishing in seventh place in the Premier League.

Rooney spent five years alongside Ronaldo at United, during which they won three Premier League titles, a Champions League, the Club World Cup and two League Cups.


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