Cristiano Ronaldo urged to 'do a Gerard Pique' and retire following Villa Park nightmare
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There must have been real hope in the Manchester United camp that handing Cristiano Ronaldo the captain's armband for the match at Aston Villa could get the very best out of him.
What happened instead on Sunday (6 November) was nothing short of a horror show for both the player and his team, as United slipped to a 3-1 defeat in the West Midlands.
Ronaldo failed to impress once again for Erik ten Hag's side, extinguishing the remaining hopes of many fans in the process.
Some of those fans took to social media to voice their displeasure at his display, with several calling for the 37-year-old to retire from football altogether.
They cited former United defender Gerard Pique as an example to follow, who shockingly retired from professional football after Barcelona's 2-0 win over Almeria on Saturday night.
In light of Ronaldo's dip in form this season, some have simply seen enough - and want the Portuguese superstar to follow Pique's lead.
After the 3-1 defeat, one Twitter user said: "Ronaldo should respect his legacy and retire like Pique."
A second proclaimed: "Ronaldo should just do what pique did yesterday and retire..."
Another fan agreed: "RONALDO SHOULD DO A PIQUE AND RETIRE IMMEDIATELY IF HE LOVES UNITED."
And a fourth rather boldly surmised: "Cristiano Ronaldo is truly finished. He should follow Pique and retire."
Every time Ronaldo steps on the pitch it’s a clownshow man, he needs to pull a Pique.— Juan (@fraudiesta1) November 6, 2022
Ronaldo should respect his legacy and retire like Pique— BRAD JORDAN (@Emzzz___) November 6, 2022
While this sentiment was quickly dismissed by other United fans on social media, it does go to show just how sour things have turned between the club legend and the wider fan base.
Red Devils manager Ten Hag acknowledged his side's shortcomings on the day, but would not be drawn on the form of his star striker.
The Dutchman told Match of the Day of the result on Sunday: "We lost the game at the start of first half and second half and that is not acceptable. They looked more fresh and more ready.
"We need to be more sharp. The result is really clear. It never lies. Today we were not good enough.
"We didn't get the right organisation. We created chances and good chances at 2-1. But you are really disappointed to concede at the start of the second half."
United face-off against Aston Villa once again on Tuesday, this time at home in the Carabao Cup. With only that game and next weekend's fixture against Fulham to come before the FIFA World Cup gets underway, one could argue that Ronaldo's focus is already elsewhere.
Do you think Ronaldo should retire? Let us know in the comments.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
Topics: Cristiano Ronaldo, Premier League, Gerard Pique, Manchester United, Aston Villa