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Kevin De Bruyne made Cristiano Ronaldo shirt request after the Manchester derby

Jack Kenmare

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Kevin De Bruyne made Cristiano Ronaldo shirt request after the Manchester derby

A 'beaming' Kevin De Bruyne was spotted leaving the Etihad with Cristiano Ronaldo's shirt following Manchester City's 6-3 win against local rivals United.

The Belgian midfielder notched two assists on Sunday as goals from Erling Haaland [3] and Phil Foden [3] sealed an emphatic win for the reigning Premier League champions.

It was an afternoon to forget, meanwhile, for Erik ten Hag and his Manchester United players.

Cristiano Ronaldo, who has started just league game this season, was an unused substitute in the humiliating defeat to their noisy neighbours, and he looked far from impressed with his manager's decision.

After the full-time whistle, United boss Ten Hag said the 37-year-old forward was not brought on during the Manchester derby "out of respect" for his big career.

He added: "The other thing was the advantage I could bring Anthony Martial, he needs the minutes but I don't want to point it out like that."

Moments later and Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne was seen leaving the Etihad stadium with Ronaldo's shirt, according to the Daily Mail.

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He may not have starred in the derby clash, but Ronaldo is clearly valued by the Belgium international, who went out of his way to find the five-time Ballon d'Or winner before asking for the number 7 jersey.

Ronaldo agreed to the request and a delighted De Bruyne reportedly confirmed the shirt was in fact Ronaldo's to the media.

Ten Hag's decision to spare Ronaldo minutes in the derby certainly sparked debate. Roy Keane, who was joined by Micah Richards on punditry duty for the game, accused Manchester United of "disrespecting" his former teammate.

"I think it's ridiculous for a player of his stature, for Man United to just keep him [on the bench]," Keane told Sky Sports.

"Even today, could he have brought him on? Of course, he could've brought him on. So what if you're 4-0 down. If you look at his goalscoring record, he has as good a chance as anyone of putting the ball in the back of the net.

"People obsessed with the pressing side of the game… If you put the ball in the right areas, he’ll score goals. Man United are showing disrespect to Ronaldo," added Keane.

"I think he should’ve been let go before the transfer window [closed].

"I think the manager holding onto him, okay, you say you need options, but if you don't hold onto Ronaldo to sit on the bench. He's one of the greatest players ever, he had options, this idea that he had no options is rubbish. He did have options, four or five very good options.

"Okay, today, the manager brought Martial on, who scored two, so yeah that's justified. But generally speaking, the bigger picture, he's not going to play Ronaldo, we know that.

"He's played in one or two European games, it's just going to get uglier as the season goes on. Okay, Ronaldo's motivated with the World Cup coming up.

"But if he's sitting on the bench for Man United week in week out, it's not good."

Thoughts on Ronaldo's situation at Old Trafford at present?

Let us know in the comments.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy - Instagram/kevindebruyne

Topics:Β Kevin De Bruyne, Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United, Manchester City, Premier League

Jack Kenmare
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