Ex-Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has been reported to be Man United recent choice for interim manager, former Catalan club manager has regularly shared his views on Cristiano Ronaldo in the past.
International tier-one football reporter, Fabrizio Romano disclosed the news yesterday about Ernesto Valverde holding talks with the board over becoming Manchester United’s interim manager in an update which may raise eyebrows in the dressing room.
One of the intrigued part of the potential appointment is that Valverde has not shied away from giving his honest opinion on Cristiano Ronaldo in the past, nor his fiercely-debated rivalry with Lionel Messi.
As a former Barcelona player and manager, he understandably sides with six-time Ballon d’Or-winner Messi over United superstar Ronaldo, who has clinched the accolade five times.
Valverde and Messi spent almost three years together at Camp Nou between 2017 and 2020, winning back-to-back La Liga titles and the Copa del Rey.
As funny as it may look, Cristiano Ronaldo may find himself working under his former El Clasico rival
Prior to his time in Catalonia, Valverde managed Athletic Bilbao, Valencia and Villarreal, so he is no stranger to Ronaldo’s vast quality after many a top-flight clash in Spain.
The former forward was keen not to provoke the Portuguese icon ahead of a clash between Athletic and Real Madrid in 2016, and played down talk of a dip in form.
“Cristiano’s decline? What is there to say? We play him, and you try not to mention anything so you don’t make him angry,” Valverde said. “He could score three or four goals in every game.
“It’s normal the season has low points, he’s always hungry to score…I don’t see many ups and downs. Those who are closer can have another opinion but when we face him there’s always danger in every play.”
Ernesto Valverde questioned Cristiano Ronaldo’s credentials for a coveted award in 2017 after Zidane had heaped praise on the Portuguese ace.
“Ronaldo is the best of his generation by far,” Zidane said. “He’s already showed that several times because he’s always shown up in important games. He always makes the difference.
“The award he’s going to win is most deserved; all the trophies he’s winning are well deserved.”
Despite his admiration for Ronaldo, Valverde appeared to contradict Zidane by saying: “It’s just an opinion like everyone else’s. It’s fine for me. What am I going to say?”
Pressed further on whether Ronaldo deserved to win the award again, Valverde replied: “I don’t know.”
Similarly, the Spanish boss spoke again when Ronaldo left Los Blancos after nine years to join Juventus.
“We have to recognise the kind of player Cristiano was and what he brought to Real Madrid and La Liga. But we lost Andres,” Valverde said.
“Ronaldo’s departure would seem to have ended the competition between Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo because people rarely mention one without mentioning the other,” Valverde added.
“A lot of people are interested, me too, to see how it will affect Real Madrid’s football and what they might do in the transfer market, and also knowing that Ronaldo is at another club and what that might mean for La Liga and the Champions League too.”
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