MANCHESTER. — Manchester United’s stars are running scared of Cristiano Ronaldo as he tries to kick-start their season.
No-nonsense Ronaldo has been shocked by the culture at the English Premiership football club and attitude of some of his team-mates, warning of a “nightmare” season unless it changes.
And he told United’s young stars: “If you don’t want my help, do your job.”
The Portuguese superstar and five-time Ballon d’Or winner (36) grew up in a tough environment during his first spell at Old Trafford, surrounded by the likes of Roy Keane and the Class of ’92.
Now on his return, he is trying to take on that role of the senior player but finding he is not being listened to.
In fact, many players feel intimidated by him — particularly on the pitch.
SunSport understands some players are even wary of making a mistake or failing to pass to him because of the reaction they might get.
Ronaldo used to be involved in some intensely competitive training sessions that legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson had to stop early in case someone suffered an injury.
But the current United crop have become used to just enjoying their midweek routine and want Ronaldo to lighten up a bit.
As a consequence, the five-time Champions League winner has started to grow aloof at the Red Devils’ Carrington HQ.
In an explosive interview with Sky Sports News, three-time Premier League winner Ronaldo lifted the lid on the current culture among younger players that he believes needs to change.
Ronaldo said: “The older players, they can always help the young players. “But if I give you advice, even if you are younger than me, if you don’t implant that during your daily life, it will be difficult.
“I can speak all day with that person but, if it’s not coming from inside of you, it’s impossible.
“If they need my help, my support and my advice, I will be the No 1 to help. But if you don’t want my help, do your job, look for yourself and do your best to help the team.”
Ronaldo missed Monday’s 1-0 FA Cup win over Aston Villa at Old Trafford with a hip injury but is expected to be fit as the sides clash again tomorrow at Villa Park in the Premier League.— The Sun.