Rio Ferdinand believes Cristiano Ronaldo will be ‘upset’ and ‘irritated’ at Manchester United amid the club’s ongoing struggles this season.
Ronaldo netted a stunning hat-trick in Man United’s pulsating victory over Tottenham at the weekend but his triumphant return to Old Trafford has generally not gone to plan.
Ronaldo became the highest goalscorer in the history of football at the weekendGettyFerdinand played alongside Ronaldo between 2003 and 2009getty
The Red Devils are locked in an uphill battle to make top four, rather than competing for the Premier League title.
And Ferdinand, Ronaldo’s former teammate at United, insists the Portugal legend will take the club’s bad form personally.
Speaking exclusively to talkSPORT.com before the tremendous treble agaisnt Tottenham, the ex-England defender said: “He won’t be happy. 100 per cent. I know that for a fact. He’s not winning.
“When you’re not winning, as a professional that’s what you’re there to do. He’s built to win.
“He’s won all his career so he definitely won’t be happy.”
Ferdinand added: “It definitely would wind him up.
It was felt the signing of Ronaldo could see Man United mount a title bid. They might not even qualify for next season’s Champions League nowAFP
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“He would be upset with not winning, he’d be upset with not competing, and he’d be upset with not having a really good run at winning the league. That’s all he’s known.
“He’ll take that personally without a shadow of a doubt.”
Ferdinand and Ronaldo were both part of a glittering era at United under Sir Alex Ferguson, topping the table more often than not.
The former centre-back, who starred alongside fierce leaders like Roy Keane, believes the current squad should look at Liverpool when it comes to character.
“They lack a group of characters,” he said. “It’s not one character who will change this. You need a group of characters and personalities that would drive the culture of the club. I think that’s what’s lacking.
“It’s hard as an ex-Man United player and someone who supports the club, but you look at a club like Liverpool, the two players who have been the most pivotal in driving the culture of the club are Jordan Henderson and James Milner.
Ferdinand believes Liverpool have the right characters in the dressing roomGETTY
“You wouldn’t say they’re in the top three players in terms of raw ability. But what they give you in terms of personality, character, commitment, drive, work-ethic, standards – it makes up for it in spades.
“You need people like that. That’s what helped my teams. We had a group of people like that.”
United are expected to appoint a new manager this summer and the club are thought to be planning significant transfer business.
But Ferdinand is less bothered about personnel and more interested in personality.
He added: “I wouldn’t prioritise names, I’d prioritise characters. Who’s the right character? Over talent and ability, I want characters.
“I’m not looking at United winning the league for the next couple of years. I’d be looking to get the right culture at the club.
PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino could soon become available amid links to Man UnitedGetty
“I think the culture is the overriding thing. A manager who can implement that and help push that is what you need, because they steer the ship.
“Someone with a big personality, who can control people and get people behind them, who that is? I don’t know.”
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