Neville: Ronaldo is 'a bully'

Gary Neville has labelled Cristiano Ronaldo "a bully" ahead of Manchester United's Champions League showdown with Real Madrid.

Last Updated: 12/02/13 at 16:45 Post Comment

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates a goal with Gary Neville in 2006

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates a goal with Gary Neville in 2006

Former United captain Neville played alongside the Portuguese ace for six seasons before Ronaldo's record-breaking £80m transfer to Real in 2009.

Neville is aware Ronaldo remains one of the best in the world at exploiting weak defenders, and feels that he deserves to be in the "same bracket" as Lionel Messi, Pele and Maradona.

"Ronaldo is a bully," said Neville. "He bullies the weakest defender. He does it all the time. He did it to Manchester City against Maicon. He will play on the left wing. If he can't get on the ball he will play centre-forward, midfield, right wing.

"He changed my perception at United. We had a midfield four - Beckham, Keane, Scholes, Giggs - I played with Beckham for seven years. They never had the freedom to decide their position on the pitch.

"Suddenly I didn't have someone in front of me who would come back and double up on the left-winger. In those early years he used to go wandering off. He was told to play on the right by Sir Alex Ferguson and would end up on the left. That was unheard of.

"He just decided his own position, which was based upon where the space was and who was the weak link. He made me realise you didn't always need to be in your shape.

"We had a player who was beyond a level of talent I had ever seen. He would go and win us game after game. I suppose that is more important.

"Now, he is a monster. I saw him on Saturday evening. He picks the ball up in an innocuous position, 30 yards out, does some type of shimmy I can't even describe let alone do, beats a man and whacks it in from 25 yards.

"You can't defend against that. He is in the same bracket as Messi and you can put them both up there with Pele and Maradona."

Footer 365

Arsene Wenger responds to Jose Mourinho taunt

Arsene Wenger has brushed off Jose Mourinho's latest taunts after the Chelsea boss said the Gunners' recent spending may come as "a surprise".

Manuel Pellegrini backs Raheem Sterling to justify price

Manuel Pellegrini insists Raheem Sterling will justify his club-record £49million price tag at Manchester City in the coming years.

Jose Mourinho: Arsenal spending way to title contention

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho says Arsene Wenger is buying his way into Premier League title contention.

Mail Box

Di Maria Just Didn't Fit (S**t Happens)

If a signing doesn't work there doesn't have to be a massive witch hunt. So there. Plus a detailed net spend rant, Breel Embolo, computer games and Louis van Gaal...

The Calculator Is On Wenger's Side...

Over the last five years, Arsenal's net spent is about 55% of Chelsea's, so shush your mouth Jose. Plus, Van Gaal is attacked and defended in equal measure...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company