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01st Nov 2022

Rio Ferdinand defends Cristiano Ronaldo’s decision to snub Gary Neville

Lee Costello

“I don’t think Cristiano is taking that call.”

It’s not exactly a shock that Rio Ferdinand has came to the defence of Cristiano Ronaldo once again, following the Manchester United star’s decision to snub Gary Neville.

The Portugal captain shook hands with some of the Sky Sports pundits, then ran straight by his former teammate and onto the pitch, making it fairly clear what he was doing.

Ronaldo previously pulled a similar stunt when he blanked Jamie Carragher for criticising his performances, and after Neville’s heated debate with Roy Keane last week, it looks like Gary is also off the Christmas card list.

Ferdinand Ronaldo Neville

The ex-Valencia boss stated that United are a better team without Ronaldo in the side, much to the Irishman’s fury.

Of course, Ferdinand, whose soul purpose in punditry is to remain on the good side of the Real Madrid legend, came to the defence of Ronaldo’s petulant behaviour once again.

Speaking on his Vibe with Five YouTube channel, Ferdinand admitted he would be surprised to see the 37-year-old forgive the Sky Sports pundit.

Cristiano Ronaldo Gary Neville

“I don’t think Cristiano is taking that call (if Neville calls him). Knowing Cristiano it’s gone isn’t it. You’ve said what you said and believe what you believe,” he said.

“I think what I would have done differently if I was recreating that scenario, I would maybe have gone and shook a couple of hands and said: ‘you talk too much, cya later’ and then gone. Just a little jab in there.

“They would have (crossed paths), (Neville) would have gone to the gantry straightaway. You’re not going to go and search out someone when you’re preparing for a game.

“I see why people are saying he didn’t need to do that but from a player’s perspective, no player is happy when a pundit is criticising them.

“They were teammates but they aren’t people that would share texts or stuff like that. And Cristiano respects Gary as well. He respected him as one of the senior players at the club 100%. He would use that as fuel.

“Gary Neville got blanked! Nev looked nervous, I have seen that face before and he looked nervous ‘is he gonna talk to me?” quipped Ferdinand.

“There’s many ways you can look at this. He has blanked him; it’s pre-meditated 100%. If my man is out there he isn’t getting a bar of love from me. He put it on him like that and Nev was standing there going ‘Ah god please say hello, please, please.’ It didn’t happen for him.

“When I was a player and you ask me how would I react to criticism – constructive criticism is fine. Someone says I ain’t playing well or should sell me, I would use that as fuel and hold that.

“That would be some negative energy in there for me. That competitive edge, I don’t know what it is. If I saw that reporter I would pie him the same as Cristiano did.”

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