Cristiano Ronaldo is ‘strangely insecure’ about some of his team-mates at Manchester United, reports say. The Portugal international has been a divisive figure at the club ever since his return in the summer transfer window of 2021. And Jadon Sancho, it’s been claimed, has seen both the ‘good and bad’ of his team-mate at Old Trafford.
Sancho’s form has dwindled for United in recent times, with the 22-year-old failing to live up to expectations ever since his blockbuster move from Borussia Dortmund last summer.
He joined the Red Devils to be the main man but, quite often, he’s been forced to give up the spotlight for Ronaldo.
Now, according to The Athletic, Ronaldo is said to be ‘strangely insecure’ about some of his team-mates at the club – despite everything he’s achieved during the course of his glittering career.
And Sancho has ‘encountered the good and bad’ when it comes to his team-mate.
It’s said some United players have felt pressured to pass to Ronaldo, no matter the angle or situation, due to how demanding he is.
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Even as the 37-year-old enters the twilight years of his career, he still wants to be the main man.
Sancho had expected to take the No 7 shirt when he joined United last summer, having been promised it 12 months prior to his arrival.
But that didn’t happen with Edinson Cavani, the occupant of the number at the time, refusing to give it up.
Cavani did make an exception for Ronaldo, allowing him to take the jersey he’d previously worn during his first stint at the club.
Yet that disappointed Sancho, who had no choice but to settle for a different number – with the former Manchester City academy graduate going for the No 25 instead.
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United have spent big on Sancho, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believing at the time that he’d become a club legend.
Over a year on, however, and the 22-year-old is facing a fight to save his career at the club.
Sancho has now fallen behind Alejandro Garnacho in the pecking order, with the Argentine recently shining in victories over Sheriff, Real Sociedad and Aston Villa.
Marcus Rashford is another obstacle, too, with the England international better on the left than down the middle.
And while Sancho played on the right during his time with Dortmund, Antony’s presence there makes it difficult for him to get into the side.
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United, for now, don’t appear to be contemplating selling Sancho.
But he’ll need to spend the winter working hard and knuckling down at Carrington to regain the trust of Erik ten Hag, especially given he won’t be going to the World Cup.
Meanwhile, regarding Ronaldo, the veteran has been included in Portugal’s squad for the tournament in Qatar.
And Portuguese pundit Antonio Tadeia, speaking to the BBC, has defended the decision to bring Ronaldo despite the United star struggling for consistency.
“The Portuguese federation has never admitted to having any special treatment for him, although we’ve had indications that lead us to understand that it exists,” he said.
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“But there you go: I don’t find it to be absolutely unusual.
“Obviously, I’m not defending that, and you’ve got stuff in the daily work that even the biggest stars have to do like the other players.
“But it would be a bit silly to think that a 39-year-old like Pepe or a 37-year-old like Cristiano will train the same way a 20-year-old does because that wouldn’t be normal.
“But then again, the fact that Santos said after the 2020 Euros exit that he had the support of Cristiano as if it were something essential for him to continue on his post didn’t sound well.
“It may have been a slip of the tongue or maybe that’s how things work. We cannot know that for sure, though.”