Ronaldo victim of false narrative and not to blame for Man United poor form — Shearer

Ronaldo victim of false narrative and not to blame for Man United poor form — Shearer

Cristiano Ronaldo is the victim of a false narrative and not to blame for Manchester United's poor form, according to the Premier League's all-time record goalscorer Alan Shearer.

United spent £20 million, $27m, to re-sign Ronaldo from Juventus last August, 12 years on from his initial departure to Real Madrid.

The Portuguese earned club legend status in his first spell at Old Trafford, winning three Premier League titles and the Champions League, but has faced far more criticism this time around with the Red Devils no longer the force of old.

Ronaldo has been powerless to prevent United from slipping to fifth in the Premier League after 24 matches of the 2021-22 season or from suffering early exits in both the FA Cup and Carabao Cup.

The 37-year-old's body language after bad results has been called into question too, with it suggested that his negative attitude is rubbing off on the rest of the squad, but Shearer has jumped to his defence.

"I don’t blame Ronaldo for anything that’s going on there," the former Newcastle and England forward told The Athletic. "He has every right to believe that if it wasn’t for him then they’d be far worse off than they are.

"He would be correct. Ronaldo must be thinking, 'what have I walked into…"

"He is an unbelievable player one of the greatest to have ever strode the planet but he is also 37.

"He rails against being left out or being taken off because the very essence of his make-up is an unparalleled will to win and a determination never to be beaten.

"He wants to play every single minute of every match. Once that attitude goes, Ronaldo goes. But, of course, it also puts pressure on the manager."

Shearer added: "Should he be more graceful at the end of matches, encouraging his team-mates?

"Having Ronaldo at the club should be a dream for younger players and if they’re not asking him advice and soaking it all up, then they bloody well should be.

"For me, it’s a false narrative. The hard questions should be asked of Manchester United’s pathetic defending, or the lack of it.

"Ronaldo isn’t making excuses, he’s fuming at the chaos and demanding better."

Ronaldo has scored 14 goals in 27 outings across all competitions for United since his long-awaited return, including six in the Champions League group stages.

However, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner is currently enduring his worst goal drought since 2009, with his latest blank coming in a disappointing 1-1 draw with Southampton at Old Trafford.

Supporters will hope that Ronaldo can rediscover his golden touch when the Red Devils play host to Brighton on Tuesday night as Ralf Rangnick's side can ill-afford any more slip-ups in their bid to finish in the top four.

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