Last night saw Manchester United announce that Cristiano Ronaldo would leave the club by mutual agreement, and Manchester City legend Vincent Kompany wasted no time in taking a dig at the Blues’ foe.
The fallout from Ronaldo’s explosive interview with Piers Morgan last week – in which he said he didn’t respect United manager Erik ten Hag and claimed he himself was being disrespected – reached its inevitable conclusion as the two parties agreed to go their separate ways.
United rolled out the red carpet for their legendary attacker when he returned to Old Trafford 15 months ago, pinched from under the noses of City. Now you could say that City have had the last laugh, and clearly former skipper Kompany wanted to get in on the act.
On Tuesday evening Kompany was one of the pundits on BBC Sport’s live coverage of France’s 4-1 defeat of Australia at the World Cup in Qatar. During the half-time break the panel – including Gary Lineker, Didier Drogba and Alan Shearer – discussed the Ronaldo news.
When asked if Ronaldo’s departure is best for all concerned, Kompany said: “I think in the end everybody loses, except perhaps the Manchester United manager. I think it’s a problem that’s resolved and they’ll move on from this.”
Kompany, whose Burnley side sit top of the Championship table halfway through his first season at the helm, was then asked by Lineker if he would consider signing free agent Ronaldo.
“We need players that can run, you know,” Kompany responded. While his reply was clearly tongue-in-cheek – he couldn’t stifle a smirk – it did highlight one of the key issues that has led to Ronaldo’s demise at United. Under three different managers he has proved unwilling to do the off-the-ball running required for a team wanting to effectively press opponents, something Kompany’s own team does very well.
City fans will no-doubt be delighted that Kompany took a dig at their nemesis, even if he was just being honest.