Cristiano Ronaldo has been particularly critical of Manchester United’s young players, saying they need to ‘change their mentality’ to implement better habits.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s scathing assessment of Manchester United’s young players would not have gone down well with the majority of the dressing room.
The Portuguese star called out his teammates in an interview last week, questioning their attitude as they continue to struggle under Ralf Rangnick.
Ronaldo was particularly critical of the club’s young players, saying they needed to “change their mentality” to implement better habits.
He told Sky Sports: “If I give you advice, even if you’re younger than me, if you don’t implement it in your daily life, it will be difficult.
“I can talk all day with that person, but if it’s not coming from inside you, it’s impossible. I remember when I was 18, 19, 20, some older players told me spoke, but I said, ‘Cristiano, you have to improve — they know more than you, they have more experience than you, they’ve been through a lot of bad times.
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“But the others, they don’t accept that, if you criticize them. I’m not saying that in relation to our players, but in general. I have children, I know. Sometimes when you’re a little tougher , they do the opposite, so you have to find the right balance to talk to them.”
And The Athletic claim Ronaldo’s outburst hasn’t gone over too well with his United team-mates.
The report also states that several young players feel the striker can be difficult to talk to and that Edinson Cavani, even in broken English, is more approachable.
At least one senior player, who usually feeds youngsters, however, fully backed Ronaldo’s comments and believes they were necessary to elicit a reaction from them.
During the wide-ranging interview, Ronaldo also assessed the mentality of the team and the culture in the dressing room since Rangnock joined the club.
He added: “Since [Rangnick] happened, I think in some ways we are better, but it needs time, it’s not so easy to change the mentality of the players, the way they play, the system and the culture like that”, said said the Portuguese star, who is the club’s top scorer this season with 14 goals in all competitions.
“So I think he’s going to do a good job.
“The system is useful, but not if the mentality is not there on the pitch. That’s why I say we have a long way to go because, for me, the most important thing is that you look at yourself and say: ‘I can do better, I can help the team a lot more.
“The system, yes, it’s important, the details make the difference in the end but, for me, the most important thing is the mentality, that you are strong, that you help the team, the right mentality, the self-taught positive things.”