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."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

P

resumably, Diaby is in this team but receiving treatment

lee
The Pre-Season 'Is He Still There?' XI

A

deadwood 11 and not an arsenal player listed. Heady days.

EssexGooner
The Pre-Season 'Is He Still There?' XI

W

ithout doing any research I would have to say that Richard Wright is the singular most successful ex Ipswich Town player I know. Yes, thats what the kaleidoscopic whirlwind of highs and lows feels like supporting the Tractor Boys. In other exciting news I saw two, count them, TWO squirrels today. What a start to August.

hump3.
The Pre-Season 'Is He Still There?' XI

Footer 365

Premier League: Jordan Henderson looking to raise game for Liverpool and England

Jordan Henderson is aware that he needs to 'step up' for Liverpool and England following the departures of key men.

Premier League: Paul Lambert delighted to have Roy Keane at Aston Villa

Paul Lambert is enjoying working alongside Roy Keane, a man he sees becoming a key figure at Aston Villa.

Premier League: Joel Campbell wants Arsenal chance after latest loan link

Joel Campbell is hoping to be given a chance at Arsenal this season after spending the past three years out on loan.

Mail Box

Plenty Of Reasons Why Lukaku's Worth It

The mailbox defends Everton's enormous outlay on Romelu Lukaku, while we also have mails on Spurs and Suarez. Oh, and worrying about the new magic spray...

Sterling Stuff And Other Friendly Thoughts

We have one reader reaching conclusions from last night's friendly while we have others discussing Romelu Lukaku's move to Everton. Oh and some swearing...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property