Manchester United legend Cristiano Ronaldo took to Instagram to fire back at his former teammate Wayne Rooney, who he called ‘jealous’.
Now managing Derby County, retired Rooney was a guest on Sky Sport’s Monday Night Football program and discussed his ex-club where he is the all-time top scorer with 253 strikes from 2004 to 2017.
Cristiano Ronaldo replied to Rooney’s Instagram post.
Perfect reply. 💯💪🏻 pic.twitter.com/JqA2VRYh5A
— CristianoXtra (@CristianoXtra_) April 6, 2022
Rooney suggested that United’s most expensive player of all time in Paul Pogba should move on this summer as a free agent, and also refused to agree that Ronaldo has had a positive impact on the team since returning for a second spell at Old Trafford from Juventus last August.
Catching wind of such comments, Ronaldo replied “two jealous” with a pair of eyes emoji to Rooney’s Instagram photo post of himself alongside ex-Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher during what Rooney described as a “Great night on Monday Night Football”.
🗣 “He’s a goal threat but the rest of the game they need more, they need young hungry players.”
Wayne Rooney doesn’t feel that signing Cristiano Ronaldo has worked out for Manchester United pic.twitter.com/fElNwiYEh1
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) April 4, 2022
“You’d have to say no,” Rooney replied, when asked if Ronaldo returning to the Premier League aged 36 had benefitted United in a season which they look like finishing trophyless without guaranteeing Champions League qualification either.
“He’s scored, he’s scored important goals in the Champions League games early on in the season. He scored the hat-trick against Tottenham.
“But I think if you’re looking to the future of the club, you have to go with younger, hungry players to do their best to lift Manchester United over these next two or three years,” Rooney noted.
“And obviously Cristiano is getting on a bit. He certainly isn’t the player he was when he was in his twenties. And that happens, that’s football. He’s a goal threat but I think the rest of the game they need more, they need young, hungry players,” Rooney went on.
“I think they’ve got good young players. I think [Jadon] Sancho will be better next year, I think Marcus [Rashford] will be better next year,” Rooney predicted.
“They’ve got good young players, I think Jesse Lingard should be playing for them because he brings energy, he brings quality. Scott McTominay has done well, so they have got some good young players.
“They just have to get that confidence, get them believing they are good players and perform at a better level and then obviously whoever the new manager is he’ll bring his own players in and try to rebuild that group,” Rooney concluded.
Rooney and Ronaldo were teammates in the United fold from 2004, when Rooney joined as a teenager from Everton, until 2009 when Ronaldo left in a then-world record transfer to Real Madrid.
The pair won the Premier League together three times plus the 2007-2008 Champions League title. And while some fans have suggested that Rooney is still bitter after Ronaldo was seen winking when he was sent off in a 2006 World Cup quarter-final clash between Portugal and England which Portugal eventually won on penalties, Rooney insisted a fortnight ago that this is not the case.
“I had no issue with Cristiano whatsoever [after Portugal’s win over England],” Rooney stated.
“I spoke to him in the tunnel. I said: ‘I have no issue with you getting me sent off’, because I’d spent the first half trying to get him booked for diving.”
In the same interview with The Sun, Rooney said that Ronaldo was “so good and so f***ing annoying at the same time” and “likes diving”.
“He is probably not as good now but he is probably just as annoying,” Rooney added.