Cristiano Ronaldo News

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Skipper backs Ronaldo

18/08/2006 07:40, Report by Steve Bartram

Gary Neville insists he and his United team-mates will close ranks to protect under-fire Cristiano Ronaldo this season.
The Portuguese winger has attracted much criticism in England for his perceived attempt to have Wayne Rooney sent off at the World Cup.
Neville, however, is adamant that the 21-year-old star is merely the latest in a line of United players vilified by an English media used to pointing the finger of blame.
"I saw the incident after the game with Portugal. I saw exactly what happened with what Wayne did and I saw exactly what Cristiano's reaction was," Neville told Sky Sports News.

"I don't have a problem with Cristiano for that, I swapped shirts with him after that.

"The English will always come up with excuses and scapegoats for why they haven't won and this time it was Cristiano.

"The reason we lost the game was because Wayne got sent off, which he knows about, we didn't score the penalties and we didn't get the goal.

"It was nothing to do with Cristiano why we didn't win that tournament."

For Ronaldo this year, read David Beckham in 1998 and Phil Neville in 2000 as United players vilified after England's premature departure from a major tournament.

And the elder Neville is adamant that Ronaldo will benefit from the tight-knit United community in the same way as those before him.

"We always protect our own," said Gary. "Right the way back to David Beckham coming back from a tournament, my brother in 2000, it has always been the case where United will protect its own players.

"It happened again this summer with Cristiano and Wayne, but he is at the right place and he'll be protected by the manager, who is brilliant at doing that.

"The players will never have any problem. What happens in an international game has got nothing to do with what happens at Manchester United."

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