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Wednesday, May 25, 2022 – Liverpool legend, John Barnes has accused Cristiano Ronaldo of causing ‘disunity and disharmony’ at Manchester United following his return back to the club last summer.
The Portuguese superstar finished the season as the Red Devils’ top scorer with 18 top-flight as the club suffered a bad season, finishing sixth in the Premier League and clinching only Europa League football for next term.
Now, Barnes has claimed United would have been better without Ronaldo.
Speaking on an end-of-season podcast for William Hill, via The Mirror, Barnes said: ‘He (Ronaldo) causes disunity and disharmony.
‘When the ball does not come to him, he throws his hands up in the air… that’s a great example, isn’t it?
‘The harmony at Manchester United is a problem and who causes that disharmony? He (Ronaldo) walks around as though … ‘it’s the rest of them, I’m doing my job’.
‘That’s not what a leader does – that’s what someone who does it for himself does. The fans love him and when things don’t go his way, he’s like … “it’s not my fault.” That is not what a team is all about.
‘So we know Ronaldo has done well for himself but would you rather have no-one scoring 20 goals a season and United finishing higher up?
‘I think they would be higher up if they had a better team. If the harmony is better, Ronaldo won’t score the goals but the team would be a better team and would be winning matches.’
According to ESPN, the team was split into two camps with the British players sticking together and the foreign players following Ronaldo.
And Barnes claimed that the poor performances of some members of the squad is down to Ronaldo’s presence in the side.
He said: ‘He (Ronaldo) detracts from other players. (Marcus) Rashford would have had a better season, (Bruno) Fernandes would have had a better season, (Jadon) Sancho would have had a better season. Whoever signed Ronaldo, it is their fault.’
Barnes was joined on the podcast by Robbie Savage, whose son, Charlie, has recently singed an extended deal at the club.
‘He is great with the youngsters,’ said Savage. ‘Everyone looks up to him – he’s an inspiration to any kid. For my boy, he’s a great example.
‘And if (Raphael) Varane and Sancho and other players had contributed as much as Ronaldo for Manchester United, they would have been in the Champions League places and possibly challenging for the title.’
But Barnes continued to disagree, insisting the Red Devils would be better off without the superstar next season.
‘Would United be a better team without Ronaldo? I think they would. You think they will be better if Ronaldo stays next season? No chance!’