Gary Neville Explains What 'Big Problem' Cristiano Ronaldo Had With Life At Manchester United
Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville has revealed that weather was the 'big problem' to Cristiano Ronaldo staying in Manchester past 2009.
Ronaldo won the Champions League and Premier League double with Sir Alex Ferguson's side in 2008 and hinted that he was ready to leave the club after that triumph.
United though kept hold of him for another year and he eventually left for Real Madrid after another Champions League final appearance, this time a loss to Barcelona.
Whilst the former Sporting man dreamed of playing for Los Blancos his former teammate revealed the weather also played its part.
"I didn't speak to Cristiano for instance about him staying at the club for longer," Neville told Sky Sports.
"I think I may have said to him during the year when he was maybe... the weather was a big problem for Cristiano.
"I think he also wanted to obviously live in Spain and do La Liga. But the weather was a big problem for him and I felt like he'd almost travelled his path, he'd done the journey. And I didn't feel that anything I was going to say was going to bring him out of that."
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The Sky pundit said that Ronaldo's move to Real, where he went on to become a European champion four more times, was one of the few times a player left Old Trafford and moved up.
"I think generally with players that were leaving there were very few who were leaving to go up. Now Cristiano you could argue going to Real Madrid and winning four or five European Cups is a step for him where he wanted to challenge himself.
"The players that were leaving mainly were because they had come to the end of the road for one reason or another, either their contracts had run out, or their age was getting too much, or the manager had had a word with them saying they're not going to play football too much anymore.
"Most of the players that left Man United would have wanted to stay. Let's be clear, 99% of the players that left Man United during the time I was there would have stayed if the manager had said you're staying. There's only the one or two per cent who left against the wishes of the club."
Ronaldo would be constantly linked with a move back to United throughout his time at the Bernabeu, where he became Real's all time top scorer, before eventually moving to Juventus in 2018.
Of course if everyone knew how much of an issue the weather was Ronaldo would never have been rumoured for a United return.