Manchester United skipper Harry Maguire has defended star forward Cristiano Ronaldo, claiming that he understands his situation.
The five-time Ballon d’Or has been severely scrutinized by fans and the media in recent weeks.
The future of the Portuguese icon remains under speculation after he asked United to sell him in July, as reported by The Times.
Ronaldo missed the club’s pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia citing family reasons. He featured in the first half of the club’s last pre-season friendly against Rayo Vallecano on July 31.
Harry Maguire has claimed that he understands that the former Real Madrid superstar always has to deal with plenty of attention and scrutiny.
The United skipper has insisted that the pressure is enormous when one plays for a gargantuan club like the Red Devils. He told Sky Sports:
“Cristiano is a magnificent player and magnificent character to have around us. I know what it is like to have a lot of media speculation around me but he takes the majority of it.”
“Everything he does is obviously scrutinised to a degree. I think this is what you get when you play for this club [due to] the size of the club.”
“On the other hand when things are good you get a lot of praise. That’s football, that’s the sport that we play, there is a line that can be crossed and there are things we can do in this country to prevent that.”
Can Cristiano Ronaldo fire United back to their glory days?
Cristiano Ronaldo made quite a brave move last summer by moving to United 12 years after moving to Real Madrid.
While he had a good season as an individual, that wasn’t the case for the Red Devils. United endured a season to forget, finishing sixth in the table with their worst points total in a season (58).
Even at the age of 37, Cristiano Ronaldo remains a force to be reckoned with. He finished as the club’s highest goal-scorer last season with 24 goals in 38 games across competitions.
It is understood that the Portugal international was keen on an exit due to a lack of Champions League football at Old Trafford.
However, it seems pretty unlikely that his wish will be granted this summer and he will have to spend the next season playing for the Red Devils.
It remains to be seen how United fare under their new manager Erik ten Hag, but Ronaldo staying can only be good news for the Dutchman.
The Red Devils start their season on Saturday, August 6, with a home game against Brighton & Hove Albion. However, it is uncertain whether Cristiano Ronaldo will be fit enough to start.