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Cristiano Ronaldo 'called for Harry Maguire to be demoted' and said he was 'part of the problem' at Man United

Tom Fenton

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Cristiano Ronaldo 'called for Harry Maguire to be demoted' and said he was 'part of the problem' at Man United

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

It's no secret that Cristiano Ronaldo's return to Old Trafford hasn't exactly gone according to plan so far.

However, an explosive new report details just how toxic things got at Manchester United between the 37-year-old, his teammates, and the club's former manager Ralf Rangnick last season.

One of the most eye-catching revelations from the new story in The Athletic is that Ronaldo supposedly called for club captain Harry Maguire to be 'demoted' and dropped for a number of matches.

Citing sources inside the club, the outlet alleges that Ronaldo was part of a group of players (which also included Raphael Varane and Paul Pogba) who went up to Rangnick at Carrington back in February.

During this meeting with the former Man United manager, it is thought that Ronaldo accused Maguire of being "part of the problem", alluding to the England international's performance level.

Maguire didn't start in either of United's wins against Liverpool or Southampton this season. (Image Credit: Alamy)
Maguire didn't start in either of United's wins against Liverpool or Southampton this season. (Image Credit: Alamy)

However, far from taking this on board, Rangnick reportedly told the group that it was 'inappropriate' for them to be talking about the club captain while he was not present.

This wasn't Ronaldo's only complaint either, as his former manager's tactical system was also critiqued.

According to The Athletic's sources, the former Real Madrid man wanted Rangnick to deploy a formation which would have allowed him to play upfront alongside Edinson Cavani.

To his immense frustration, the German didn't oblige.

While many of United's problems last season were levelled at the coaching style of Rangnick, a change in manager hasn't led to a change in fortunes for Ronaldo.

The forward requested to leave the Premier League club following the appointment of Erik ten Hag, who promptly demoted him to the bench for the opening games of the new season.

Ronaldo on the bench during Saturday's 1-0 win over Southampton. (Image Credit: Alamy)
Ronaldo on the bench during Saturday's 1-0 win over Southampton. (Image Credit: Alamy)

Man United's two wins this season, against Liverpool and Southampton, both saw Ronaldo named among the substitutes.

Rio Ferdinand recently talked about his former teammate's plight on his own Vibe with Five podcast, saying: "Whether he stays or not, none of us know. But knowing Cristiano [Ronaldo], I know for a fact that he will be absolutely fuming right now."

"Forget who's starting in front of him, [that] he's not starting. You don't get to do what he's done in his career over this amazing amount of time at the levels he's been playing by being someone who's going to accept not starting and being a sub for a team that isn't in the Champions League.

"Whatever anyone says about running, pressing etc., he will be sitting there going 'I scored 24 goals last season. The hardest thing to do in football is putting the ball in the back of the net and I did it 24 times last year," he added.

Topics: Manchester United, Premier League, Cristiano Ronaldo, Harry Maguire, Ralf Rangnick, Erik Ten Hag

Tom Fenton
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