Roy Keane jumps to Cristiano Ronaldo's defence after Man United walk-off 11 months ago

Roy Keane jumps to Cristiano Ronaldo's defence after Man United walk-off

"He's a human being, he's got flaws."

Roy Keane has jumped to Cristiano Ronaldo's defence after the Manchester United forward refused to be substituted on in the team's 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur.


Ronaldo walked down the tunnel before the end of the match and reportedly left the stadium before his teammates.

Man United coach Erik ten Hag omitted the Portugal captain from United's squad for Saturday's match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Keane defends Ronaldo after walk-off criticism.


Ronaldo has been criticised by several pundits for his actions. Keane, however, offered a stern defence of his former teammate.

The Irishman said that Ronaldo 'lost the head' and is frustrated by his situation at Old Trafford.

However, Keane argued that the 37-year-old cares about Man United and that his actions show that he merely wants to play more football.

Keane also said that others 'have done much worse' at the club.


"Well, obviously the manager's made the decision to leave him out," Keane said on Sky Sports.

"He's certainly disappointed that Ronaldo didn't want to go on, even if it was what, 87th, 88th minute?

"And the fact he walked down the tunnel, he's obviously been punished for it. But I try to see it from a player's point of view, he's obviously had enough, he's lost the head, and I think it's been brewing over the last few weeks with Ronaldo.


"But I will still try to defend him, he's a human being, he's got flaws, he feels frustrated that he's not been getting opportunities and he's had enough."

The former Man United captain also disputed the idea that the team played particularly well against Spurs.

"He's walked down the tunnel, I think players have done much worse things at Man United," Keane said.


"I think it happens, it's human nature. Everyone was talking after the game that they beat Spurs, that it was a big win, best performance in years, absolute rubbish, Spurs were terrible.

"Man United managed to beat Spurs as well last year at home when I think Ronaldo got a hat-trick, so he was more than capable of getting on that pitch and making a difference. But he just has to take his punishment, is there a way back for him? I'm not sure.

"But I still think Ronaldo, I think his behaviour over the last week and even when he didn't get on, or refused to go on... I'd be more worried if Ronaldo was sitting on the bench every week laughing his head off and not caring. I think the guy cares. I said it before, this game is full of bluffers. And he's certainly not one of them."

Finally, Keane said that Ronaldo is still good enough to score goals regularly for Man United, and questioned Ten Hag's idea to substitute the player late in the match against Spurs.

"I think he cares about the club," Keane said.

"I think he wants to play, I think he needs to play. World-class player. People saying he's not the player he was 10 years ago, of course, he's not, but he was the leading goal scorer last year for Man United. He went to a bad Man United team last year, a really bad team, and he was still the leading goal scorer.

"I think the last few weeks he's been frustrated after the City game. I think the Everton game when he was a sub and came on and scored, was taken off against Newcastle.

"The manager then wants to bring him on for a few minutes. They asked the manager in the press conference the last few days, they should've asked him, 'when were you going to put him on?' Late in the game? Two of three minutes to go. I'm not so sure that was a clever move."

Cristiano Ronaldo former United

You can watch Keane speak about Ronaldo below.

Related links: