Cristiano Ronaldo responds to ‘jealous’ Wayne Rooney after criticism of Manchester United return

Cristiano Ronaldo has responded to Wayne Rooney’s criticism of his return Manchester United.

At its peak on Monday night, Rooney advised United to break away from former team-mate Ronaldo and instead focus on “younger, hungry players” in a bid to improve the club.

Rooney spent several seasons alongside Ronaldo during the Portuguese striker’s first tenure at United.

Ronaldo returned to Old Trafford from Juventus last summer and has had a decent goalscoring season but has struggled for consistency from game to game amid bigger problems at the club.

His former team-mate Rooney believes the signing hasn’t worked out as hoped and urged his former club to “look to the future” rather than the 37-year-old.

Asked by Sky Sports on Monday night whether Ronaldo’s return had been a success, Rooney replied: “You would have to say ‘no’ at the moment.

“He scored early on, important goals in the Champions League, he scored a hat-trick against Tottenham, but when you look to the future of the club you need to go with younger, hungry players to do the best to lift Man United in the next two or three years.

“Cristiano is progressing a bit. He’s not the player he was in his 20’s and that happens, that’s football. He’s dangerous in front of goal but they need more in the rest of the game. They need young, hungry players.”

Rooney shared a post on Instagram after appearing on the show, and Ronaldo responded by saying, “Two jealous.”

Ronaldo reportedly signed a two-year deal with United in August, with the possibility of a one-year extension.

Despite a mid-season managerial change from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to interim Ralf Rangnick, the club sit seventh in the Premier League and all cup competitions.

Rangnick will remain in an advisory role beyond the summer but is unlikely to be a contender for a permanent managerial position as United are likely to eye alternative options in the form of Paris Saint-Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino or Ajax’s Erik Ten Hag will grasp.

“They have good young players,” Derby County manager Rooney said. “[Jadon] Sancho will be better next year, Marcus [Rashford] will be better next year.

“I think Jesse Lingard should play for them because he brings energy and quality. Scott McTominay has done well so they have some good young players. You just have to give them confidence, make them believe they are good players and play at a better level.

“The new manager, whoever that is, I’m sure he will bring in his own players to help rebuild the group.” Cristiano Ronaldo responds to ‘jealous’ Wayne Rooney after criticism of Manchester United return

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