REVEALED: Cristiano Ronaldo has concerns over his Manchester United team-mates' attitude, fears they are ignoring his advice and is BAFFLED they don't work harder in the gym after training
- Cristiano Ronaldo has launched a damning attack on his Man United team-mates
- The Portuguese striker has urged them to show more pride in their performance
- He hinted that United’s younger players are not listening to his words of wisdom
The Portugal striker, who believes his fellow players are not as committed to the cause as he is, said on Thursday: ‘I say we have a long way to improve because, for me, the most important thing is the mentality. To look at yourself and say, “I can do better”.
‘For you to be professional, help the team, the right mentality, self-taught and positive. All these details depend on you, not the coaches, the fans or the press. If you are proud of yourself and you have dignity, you have to do it much more.’
Cristiano Ronaldo has launched a damning attack on his Manchester United team-mates
Ronaldo stays behind after training to work on his fitness but, Sportsmail can reveal, he is baffled that more of his team-mates do not do the same. He also hinted that United’s younger players are not listening to his words of wisdom.
‘If I give you advice, even if you are younger than me, if you don’t implant that during your daily life, it will be difficult,’ he said. ‘I will be the No 1 to help. But if you don’t want my help, do your job, look for yourself, do your best to help the team.
‘I can speak all day with that person but if it’s not coming from inside of you, it’s impossible. When I was 18, 19, 20, some older players spoke with me, but I put that as, “Cristiano, you have to improve”.
Sportsmail has also learned of one example where Ronaldo complained privately that he is one of the only United players who goes to the gym to do extra work before and after training at Carrington.
Ronaldo believes his fellow players are not as committed to the cause as he is
The Portugal star’s fastidious fitness regime has helped him stay at the top of his game at the age of 36, but there are concerns over the attitude of the rest of the squad since he returned to Old Trafford last summer.
United have slumped to seventh in the Premier League amid concerns over a dressing-room divide, and fans displayed a banner with the solitary word ‘standards’ during Monday’s FA Cup win over Aston Villa.
Ronaldo questioned the mind-set of United’s players in an interview with Sky Sports on Thursday, and hinted that some of them are ignoring his advice.
Asked if a team can succeed without the right mentality, he replied: ‘Impossible. I think that’s the main point.
‘This is why I say we have a long way to improve because, for me, the most important thing is the mentality. To look at yourself and say, “I can do better”.
‘For you to be professional, help the team, have the right mentality, be self-taught and positive. I think all these details depend on you, not the coaches, the fans or the press. If you are proud of yourself and you have some dignity, you have to do it much more.’
Ronaldo stays behind after training to work on his fitness but, Sportsmail can reveal, he is baffled that more of his team-mates do not do the same
Ronaldo was fanatical about his fitness when he joined United from Sporting Lisbon at the age of 18, and challenged the club’s conditioning staff to help make him the best player in the world.
He wore ankle weights in training, was the first player at United to hire a personal chef, and spent hours in private after training perfecting his skills, hidden from anyone who could spot his mistakes.
The pursuit of perfection has continued throughout his career with the player even installing a cryotherapy ice chamber at home to aid his body’s recovery.
Ronaldo questioned the mind-set of United’s players in an interview on Thursday
‘You should look in the mirror and say, “I give everything”,' he continued. 'I think all of us should do that. It’s a new year, we change the page, we have many things to win and we have to believe in that. If not, it will be a nightmare. I try to improve different things and better things, to help the team.
‘That’s the main point. We are all here to make the team better, so let’s try. We have to be united in the difficult moments.’
Ronaldo won eight major trophies in his first spell at Old Trafford, as well as winning the first of five Ballon d’Or awards, and has scored 14 goals since rejoining the club from Juventus.
But his return has been overshadowed by United’s problems this season, and the former Real Madrid star warned that he did not come back to scrap for a Europa League place.
‘I don’t want to be here in a club to fight to be in sixth or seventh or fifth place, I’m here to try to win,’ he said. ‘I’m back in Manchester because I love this club, it’s not just because of money or whatever. I believe that we have the potential here to win important things. But some things have to change. I believe if we change our minds, we can achieve big things.
Ronaldo won eight major trophies in his first spell at Old Trafford but his return has been overshadowed by United’s problems this season
‘To build up a good thing sometimes you have to destroy a few things. So, why not? New year, new life. I hope Manchester United can be at the level people want.
‘The last five or six games, do you think United played very well? No. Everyone knows that. We have time to improve. We have a squad with potential and a new manager. Why don’t we believe we can do better? You have to be positive to try to change things and to play how Manchester United fans want and the history of the club.
‘This is why we’re not going to give up. The only guys that give up are those who are mentally weak.
‘We should win the league or be in second or third. In my heart, I don’t accept that our mentality can be less than to be in the top three in the Premier League. I don’t see other positions for Manchester United, to be honest.’