Man Utd should make Ronaldo the Trumpian ‘stew in his juice’, World Cup predictions and more…

Man Utd striker Cristiano Ronaldo licks the side of his lips Credit: Alamy
Man Utd striker Cristiano Ronaldo licks the side of his lips Credit: Alamy

One Mailboxer reckons there was more than a hint of Donald Trump about Cristiano Ronaldo’s interview. Plus, Man Utd should let him stew, World Cup predictions and lots more…

Get your views in to theeditor@football365.com

 

World Cup predictions…
Right, enough of Ronaldo tantrums and whether Arsenal will win the league. There’s a World Cup starting! We could endlessly debate whether we should boycott (and we should continue to shine a light on Qatar) but we can also follow and get excited about the actual football.

With that in mind, I’ll kick off with some World Cup predictions. Before I start, consider the following: France in 2002, Italy in 2010, Spain in 2014, Germany in 2018. What do they have in common? Teams that went into the World Cup as holders and didn’t even make it out the group stage. Even Brazil in 2006 only made the quarter finals. Which tells us that a) the World Cup is unpredictable. b) Predictions are hard. (and so is retaining the World Cup).

With the tiny window between the end of domestic fixtures and the start of the World Cup, this World Cup could be even more unpredictable than most. But I’ll have a go at predictions anyway. Gone slightly outside the box, but the World Cup is often mad so who knows.

Final 4: Netherlands v Brazil & Denmark v Uruguay. Did a predictor. That’s what came out. Had Denmark finishing ahead of France in the group (as they did in Nations league) & Uruguay ahead of Portugal.

Final: Netherlands v Uruguay

Winners: The Netherlands. Thought I’d go slightly outside the firm favourites. There is some logic. They’re in great form, with 5 wins from 6 in the Nations League. They’re defence is maybe a bit dodgy at the moment, but the spine of the team is solid and they have a chance.

Golden Ball: This one is pretty hard to predict. Diego Forlan, Oliver Kahn and even Modric are probably not players who you would have picked at the start of the tournament. However Messi and Zidane you might have. It normally goes to a finalist so let’s say Darwin Nunez. No, I’m not biased at all.

Golden Boot: The joint top scorer in European World Cup qualifying. No,  not Harry Kane. The other one. Memphis Depay.

Which big team will flop: France to continue the World Cup winners curse. 2nd in the group, then lose to Argentina in the last 16.

Which team will spring a surprise: Whichever you consider the bigger surprise of Denmark in the semi-finals or Uruguay in the final.

Which player will flop: Harry Kane. He’s tired apparently.

Other Random predictions:
Wales won’t win a game
Ronaldo will score 2 goals or fewer
Messi will score his first World Cup knockout goal
Senegal will beat England on penalties
A player will put on a Santa hat to celebrate a goal
Everyone will demand that Madisson comes off the bench to change the game, then he will come off the bench and do nothing

Let’s see some more mailbox predictions…
Mike, LFC, London

 

What now for Ronnie?
Now that CR7 has burned his final bridge at United, where does he go from here? Well, firstly Qatar, obviously but here’s how the rest of his season might play out…

  • Sulking and seething, Ronaldo starts every group game for Portugal at the World Cup as the team toils in his glowering, petulant presence. After two laboured draws in the first two games, Ronaldo scores a decisive penalty in the do-or-die third match and Portugal reach the knock-out phase. Celebrates with a trademark “Siiiuuuu!!!” “I’m not finished yet!” he tells himself…

  • Portugal unconvincingly reach the semi final with Ronaldo failing to get on the scoresheet for the rest of the tournament. Is suspended for the Semi, having picked up another booking in the Quarter Final after accusing the referee of “disrespecting” him, throwing a hissy fit when some of the ref’s vanishing spray ends up on his boots…

  • With Ronaldo suspended, Portugal play their best football in the Semi, with Bruno Fernandes and Bernardo Silva out of the main man’s shadow and excelling in a dominant win over Ghana.

  • This sets up a tantalising final against Argentina, with one last epochal Messi v Ronaldo match-up to once and for all decide who is the GOAT…

  • Messi, in inspired form all tournament, bags a hattrick in a crushing 3-0 win and cements his legacy as the greatest of all time.

  • Ronaldo is sent off with 20 minutes to play, for picking up the ball and attempting to take it home. He refuses to leave the pitch and throws himself to the floor in an epic tantrum akin to a toddler in a supermarket until his mother comes along and drags him away. Shares in Coca-Cola reach an all-time high.

  • Ronaldo goes into hiding all January, refusing to speak to anybody until January the 31st rolls around and he remembers he’s still contracted to United. He finally emerges, puffy-faced and red-eyed, clutching what remains of his Lionel Messi voodoo doll…

  • In a fit of pique, he fires his agent for not finding him a new club and replaces him with Piers Morgan, who touts him to Arsenal. The United hierarchy, never knowingly frugal, make an offer Arsenal can’t refuse by paying them £100 million to take him off their hands.

  • At Arsenal, Ronaldo immediately appoints himself club captain, manager and CEO. Mikel Arteta is gagged and bound and kept locked in the boot of his Bentley, only freed for press conferences, where he insists Ronaldo is not a problem for team morale, staring the whole time at men in balaclavas with AK47s lurking in the shadows. Ronaldo is flanking them, making the occasional “slash-throat” gesture if Arteta looks like he may dare veer off-script.

  • Arsenal’s glorious early season form nosedives worse than Newcastle’s after Asprilla’s arrival back in ’96, and they tail off to finish 5th. The Emirates is razed to the ground. Piers Morgan insists Ronaldo is a born winner, and his useless snowflake team-mates are to blame for not meeting his client’s lofty standards…

  • It’s a different story in the Europa League though, as with Ronaldo cup-tied, Arsenal breeze through to the final, where they face…Manchester United.

  • Ronaldo, by now deranged and power-crazed, declares himself a living God and deposes UEFA head Ceferin and appoints himself God of Football, changing the rules of the game so that he may start the Europa League final.

  • Still feeling he has a point to prove to Erik Ten Hag, Ronaldo bangs in a hat-trick of own goals past an uncharacteristically silent and gobsmacked Ramsdale. “I’ve still got it! I’m still the man!” he screams at the United bench. “I do what I want, WHEN I want!!!”

  • Joel Glazer turns to Alex Ferguson in the stands and utters: “Best 100 mill we’ve ever spent!” That’s not a high bar to clear.

  • Ronaldo immediately announces his retirement and concentrates on his plans to make football great again. He cancels all real-world football forever and orders all future games to take place in a sim, where the 29 year-old Peak Ronaldo must play every game for every team in this sim as he becomes the first footballer to hit a trillion+ goals. Messi’s records are expunged from the history books.

  • Piers Morgan, after Trump’s demise, is thrilled that he has a brand new egomaniacal narcissist’s rectal cavity to crawl inside, or at least he would be if he hadn’t been lynched in the Emirates riots of May 2023 by a mob of irate Arsenal fans. So some good came out of the whole sorry episode.
    Stranger things have happened…

Lee, idle fantasist

 

Ronaldo saga…
I rarely get involved enough these days to want to write into the mailbox but this Ronaldo crap has triggered me enough to feel the need. I’ll try not to just reiterate what has already been said but a lot has been said already so apologies if I’m just parroting everyone else.

First off, we all know Ronaldo is a selfish, narcissistic egotist. The evidence has long been obvious for everyone to see – the main example that sticks out for me is his behaviour in the Champions League final of 2008. Having missed his own penalty and (fortunately for us) seen his teammates step up and do their part, instead of joining his colleagues in celebration he made it all about him; while they were off mobbing van der Sar for his crucial save, Ronaldo dropped to the floor on his own, knowing that the camera would inevitably focus on him and him alone. And, as pointed out by others, that was just one incident in a long list of other selfish behaviours (the other being the Euro final where he pretended to be coach for a bit while his teammates did the work.)

So, this whole saga comes as no big surprise to me. That said, he has severely damaged his reputation, not just at United but on a global scale now – of course there will be those who believe he can do no wrong, but anyone that has any respect for professionalism and integrity will surely see this for what it is.

The thing that strikes me about the quotes coming out of the Piers Morgan sycophant special is that this rhetoric sounds very familiar. Have a look at the quotes attributed to Ronaldo again and imagine them being said in Donald Trump’s voice. The same kind of narrative is prevalent: everyone is out to get me; I’m doing a great job, it’s everyone else who is letting me down; only I am telling the truth, etc. Frankly, I’m amazed he stopped short of saying “I’ve scored huge goals, tremendous goals, some of the best goals ever scored…” But if you’re looking to get any kind of truth out there then Piers Morgan is absolutely not the guy. Mother Theresa could go on that show and I’d automatically assume she was full of shit (and I bet she’d get a hell of a lot tougher line of questioning than Ronaldo did.)

The whole thing about respect is laughable. As has been pointed out, Ten Hag seems to have gone out of his way to publicly show respect to Ronaldo since taking over, but this has been repaid with slander. If Ronaldo thinks that not playing every minute of every game, and not having the entire team setup for his benefit is disrespectful then he’s even more cracked than I thought. Whatever happens behind closed doors, which we probably will never know, is private business and one thing that Ten Hag has never done is slag off Ronaldo in public. Apparently, Ronaldo’s “professionalism” only extends so far.

At the end of the day, he has got himself all wound up that he hasn’t enjoyed the messianic return he probably assumed was a given, and he’s subsequently seen the team look like a better unit without him. He’s struggled to make any kind of impact when he has played and is now looking literally anywhere else to place the blame. I hope he never plays for us again, and I couldn’t care less where he goes as long as he goes. Let him be someone else’s (extremely costly) problem.

Just a final note on the World Cup. I have struggled with the notion of watching the tournament and I’ve finally decided that I don’t think I can take part in it. I am gutted because I love the World Cup itself but, as part of the LGTBQ+ community myself, I feel like it would be a betrayal to be part of an event hosted in a country of hate and intolerance, where my existence is literally criminal. For those who do decide to watch, I hold no ill will. All we can do as individuals is follow our own moral code, and if those who are comfortable with supporting it then it’s not my place to judge.
Ted, Manchester

 

Hey F365,

I must admit that I find the Ronaldo interview thing incredibly bizarre. Not because it tells us anything about his character that most people didn’t already suspect, but because it’s yet another footballer going behind his club’s back to give an interview.

Who is giving them this advice? You don’t even need a long memory to recall how things went for Lukaku, who alienated fans and team-mates with his Inter Milan love letter after a stuttering start to last season. To give him the benefit of the doubt (although quite why), perhaps Ronaldo’s attention was elsewhere when Luis Suarez spoke to the Guardian in the 2010s to try to force a move from Liverpool to Arsenal.

In both cases, it just gave their clubs the upper hand in the relationship and trashed the players’ reputations with fans. Lukaku’s relationship with Chelsea didn’t recover, and Suarez only made it through because he was in his prime, playing out of his skin and knew he could get a bigger move a year later instead. In neither case did the public agitation get them the immediate move they seemingly wanted.

Surely whoever is advising Ronaldo could have pointed to these rather obvious examples of how the thing he was about to do would not help him. He would have been better off getting his head down and earning credibility with club, manager and fans, whether playing or not, so they would be more inclined to support him in achieving his personal goals. As it stands, for all this talk of terminating his contract, I can imagine they will want to make an example of him by leaving him to stew until next summer.

If Ronaldo is capable of introspection and self-awareness, he might want to look at the fallout from this and consider whether the people he has surrounded himself with are the best, the brightest, or even working in his interest at all.
Tom

 

Chapeau Cristiano!
Special mention for Cristiano today as he goes from being hated by only the fans of 19/20 PL clubs to the maximum possible. As a great Austrian philosopher once said, “Chapeau!”.

Bit naughty to mention Liverpool in that interview too in the context of his definition of “respect”. Great gesture by the ‘Pool fans no doubt, but are you going to disrespect your club and former and soon-to-be former manager while including an example of respect by your hated rival to hammer it in? And cheapen that Liverpool respect by doing so? We can take it then by omission that Ole “whatever you guys say” Solskjaer was the only one of the 3 he did respect? Wonder why? Stop being so obvious Crissy.

Now Ten Hag, the lovable maniac that he is, is rumoured to want to get shot of Maguire in January too. I’ll take that for Christmas! It’s been less than a year since the United starting line up included Maguire, Pogba, Lingard and Ronaldo. Or The Spineless Spine, as it’s now known. And Erik said “Genoeg, Klootzacken!” (go ahead, Google Translate it).

Throw into that the emergence of Garnacho, the sheer finesse of Eriksen, the revelation of the World’s Tiniest Defender (TM), and Casemiro who has done double duty in being quite good himself, but also seperated Fred and McTominay into being not bad players as long as they don’t play together. What’s left? A Striker? Is Jesse free? Don’t be fooled Forest fans, Jesse will still be “coming good” when he’s 45. United needed Haaland, but his dad’s previous with clubs and a certain Corkman always meant that was a non-starter. Sesko seems like the nearest equivalent to spunk the money on.
One more thing abouth the Ronaldo interview. How does defacto United captain Bruno handle this in the Portugal camp for the next month, and Dalot too? Tension.

It’s looking good for Erik and United. He’s got a month free to plan, manically obsess over the minutiae, and listen to those phantom voices that always seem to be over his shoulder in interviews.

However he operates is fine by me. A team without Maguire, Ronaldo, Lingard and Pogba shows you can build a house without Tools.
Terry, Texas

 

Being completely right and completely wrong
I wrote to these hallowed mailbox pages as far back as the 19th of June 2017 stating that it was laughable that Man U would sign a then 33 year old Ronaldo for a massive transfer fee and ridiculous wages.

I was right they did not.  Instead, they decided to wait a further 5 years to still spend an 8-figure transfer fee (instead of a 9-figure transfer fee) but unbelievably still pay him the £20-£30m a year that I thought was crazy to pay a 33 year old Ronaldo.

I’m so bored of people saying I told you so, but I literally said ironically “are Man U really going to spend all that money (at the time a quarter of a billion) to get a great goal scorer for two/three years who has the mother of all egos and won’t stand for anything unless it’s his way”.

Unbelievably the answer was yes, they just wanted Ronaldo to decline by another half decade first.
Paul K, London.

 

The man with a plan…
I am not a member of the Glazer Family, so I have no say regarding the response of the club to Ronaldo.

If I did, here’s what I would do.

I will not terminate his contract. I will not play him. He won’t be in any team sheet. I will not even let him into Carrington. I’ll give him very stringent conditions (training with thunder 13s, for example), that I know he can’t meet, then fine him exorbitantly for not meeting them. I’ll make him stew in his juice until June 30.
Tunji, Lagos

 

The United fans getting what they deserve
But but but Ronnie

❤ Credit: Alamy
❤ Credit: Alamy
�� Credit: Alamy
�� Credit: Alamy

?

Can we first acknowledge the simply beautiful dump that Ronaldo has taken on United? Just lovely. A hearty applause sir.

This man picked Piers Morgan of all people to air out his dirty laundry and defecate all over the club and the fans who last summer scrambled to the club shop and desperately forked out their money to set shirt sale records all the while muttering “Glazers Out” from the other side of their mouth.

And it is the United fans who deserve the most credit for creating this spoilt narcissistic monster. Perhaps when they were busy getting their noses brown up Ronaldo’s arse last season a bit of restraint was needed? Perhaps hailing his signing as a return to the glory days and a sign of a title challenge was premature to put it gently?

Or perhaps when the rest of the world was pointing out how his goals were coming to the detriment of the team, they should have taken this in to consideration instead of being smug and delusional about it? They were more interested in ferociously defending their GOAT since he was “the only one who cared” and “loved the club” (

�� Credit: Alamy
�� Credit: Alamy

) while his goals fired them to a lofty 6th place. A certain “Expert Analysis” in the comments once uttered the following prophetic words “Ronaldo doesn’t create any problems. We now have two elite strikers to rotate between in him and Cavani” lolz.

So ultimately, given the amount of smoke blown up his arse by desperately eager to idolize United fans, is it really a surprise he feels so entitled? Well now that Ronnie has shown his true colors it seems the United faithful have finally decided everybody else was actually right all along. After being humiliated in public by their idol.

It’s a beautiful way to head off in to the World Cup. Cheers Ronnie, you may have lost a huge number of fans, but you’ve certainly gained a few as well big guy.

Sydney (I Ronnie)

❤ Credit: Alamy
❤ Credit: Alamy

 

No smoke without fire…
To those who are roasting CR7, let it be said that there is no smoke without fire. It is uncharacteristic of Ronaldo to do such an interview. Sight should not be lost of the fact that, like many other players, Ronaldo has had disagreements with some managers in the past including his fallout with Jose Mourinho. The point must be made that he never made an interview such as this and he never indicated his disrespect for the Manager involved. Clearly, something might have happened between Manager and player which led CR7 to act this way and to use very strong words like betrayal. Nonetheless,  it is his natural and legal right to express his beliefs and thoughts truthfully. Finally, to my beloved CR7 let it be said that “when a man has done but his very best, only the Angels above can do more”. If he had gone to Man City, he would have scored many more goals because the other players will find him or rather get the ball to him in the box. This is what they are doing for Haaland. So stop criticising and blaming CR7 for United’s poor performance.
Professor (Dr) David Achanfuo Yeboah

 

Thank you, Cristiano…
As a Man United fan I would love to think him for his act of selfishness. There is a lot of nonsense that is likely to come out in that interview but there is also a lot of truth that is going to be in that interview.

Everything we have done post Fergie has been Sh*t. David Moyes, Van Gael, Jose,  Ole lol, McFred lol lol. Phil Jones is still on our squad for goodness sake.

If this interview doesn’t act as the catalyst that starts our next wave of dominance then nothing will. I am expecting serious investment moving forward. We have the manager and we have the football style that can win trophies in this Era. So let’s back the manager 100%.

The January window should be the first step. We need to buy a new CB, LB, CM and striker. We need to outright just cancel contracts like Phil Jones and others that are subpar. Forget resale value just accept the sunk cost and start fresh. Same thing in July 2023 as well.

As for Ronaldo, send him to the under 23s for the rest of the season and let him watch as Messi wins the Champions League, golden boot and player of the year award. That is the best punishment.

Thanks for the service Ronaldo, I salute you. Even though you are a massive *$@t
Manc In SA (No debate, Messi is the greatest ever now)

 

Man Utd pundits…
MAW, LA Gooner is forgetting one crucial point about the current ‘Utd player’ pundits around like Neville, Keane, Scholes and, to a slightly lesser extent because we were a bit shit by the time he peaked, Ferdinand: Arsenal were largely the biggest rivals they had during their playing careers.

No matter how hard someone tries, it must be difficult not to be biased in your views when you competed against, and pretty much hated, a particular club you were in direct competition with year after year. When you’re involved in tunnel fights and mass brawls on the field and your captains looked like they wanted to kill each other, it’s hard to forget.

I’m certain that’s why Neville is essentially a wind up merchant at this point with his thoughts on Arsenal.

The dislike he held against the club is why he couldn’t see the vision of our squad building, but why Utd signing Varane and Ronaldo would make them title contenders. It’s why when we lost to Newcastle last season, he (and Carragher tbf) basically wrote our obituary for this season. Go and watch the post game analysis and listen to their ’analysis’. Hilarious how Arsenal were set to forever struggle, but Utd (and Liverpool) weren’t mentioned as Gary (and Jamie) assumed they’d be too big to be threatened by the up and coming Toon.

His latest comments are funny. I wonder if he remembers us signing Jose Antonio Reyes – who he and his brother kicked the living shit out of to no punishment, once upon a time – from a position of strength, spurring us on to win the title unbeaten four months later?

Neville will be the first to stick the boot into Arsenal if injuries crept in but we’d sat on our hands and not added some top quality depth to see us through.

Sometimes, a person’s bias just means some clubs are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. And that is largely Neville on Arsenal, whenever he discusses them.
Joe, AFC, East Sussex

 

Remember Januzaj? Macheda? Gibson?
I was sticking up for United and their fans when this Cristiano interview was announced (goes to show how much I dislike Ronaldo).

Then, I read yesterday morning’s mailbox and saw Super Sancho’s mail, where he said ”I’m not saying that Garnacho is going to be better than Messi, but Messi wasn’t this good when he was 18”

Ok, mate. Why do United fans always do this? Can’t you just enjoy your youngsters quietly without putting them up to be the next greatest world star?

Remember Januzaj? Macheda? Gibson? All touted to be the ‘next big thing’ but all faded into obscurity.

Just let the lad play football.
Malcolm, AFC

 

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