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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Dan Marsh

Gary Neville predicted Cristiano Ronaldo downfall before Man Utd's season even started

Cristiano Ronaldo's dream return to Manchester United has descended into a nightmare over the course of the last 12 months.

The 37-year-old has gone from United's main man to a peripheral figure since Erik ten Hag's arrival at Old Trafford - but that hasn't prevented the Portuguese superstar from dominating the narrative surrounding the club.

After failing to engineer an exit in the summer, Ronaldo has cut a frustrated figure in recent weeks and is set to be hit in the pocket after storming off before the final whistle on Wednesday night during Manchester United's impressive 2-0 win over Tottenham.

That strop has now seen him axed from the squad to face Chelsea this weekend, with serious doubts over his future at the club beyond the World Cup.

Ten Hag refused to comment on Ronaldo's behaviour, but the forward's post-match antics are unlikely to boost his chances of featuring on a regular basis ahead of the World Cup - and that could heighten the odds of him leaving the club on a permanent basis in the New Year.

And while a move away would not surprise anyone, former Old Trafford favourite Gary Neville predicted before the season had even begun that Ronaldo was unlikely to fit into Ten Hag's plans - and that he could cause the Dutchman issues.

Speaking back in August when speculation over Ronaldo's future was rife, Neville told The Overlap : “There’s also a style thing. I was watching some of the clips of the goals United scored on the tour. Some of the goals were brilliant. They’re not easy goals to score at any time of the season. I’m not sure they could score those goals and play that way that Ten Hag wants, in terms of the high press, with Ronaldo. I’m not sure he fits in.”

Join the debate! Do you think there is any way back for Ronaldo at Man Utd? Let us know here.

Ronaldo stormed down the tunnel before the end of Manchester United's win over Tottenham (BT Sports)

He added: “Every press conference is obliterated by the Ronaldo issue. I think, looking back, all the great managers, if a player becomes the dominating factor – there’s only one thing that has to happen. We all know it.

“I woke up this morning, that weather in Manchester was horrendous. It was rain everywhere. I remember him coming into the dressing room 15 years ago and saying ‘This is s***’. I remember him saying that 15 years ago when he was the best player in the world.”

After Ten Hag refused to comment on Ronaldo's antics on Wednesday night, a new report from The Daily Star has claimed that the club are set hit the disgruntled striker with a fine 'in the region of £1million' following his post-match strop.

"I don't pay attention to that, I will deal with that tomorrow. I want to keep the focus on the team,” Ten Hag said when he was asked about the incident in his post-match press conference.

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