Gary Neville has spoken about how Cristiano Ronaldo was once unhappy with his sneaky managerial tactics, when the two faced each other in Spain back in 2016.
Speaking on his show Off Script (via Sky Sports), Neville revealed how he deliberately didn’t cut or water the grass when his Valencia side faced Real Madrid.
The former manager did so to try and slow the game down, with his tactics resulting in a 2-2 draw with the La Liga giants. Neville revealed: “What I remember most about that game was our tactic of leaving the grass really long and we didn’t water the pitch so the ball wouldn’t travel as quick in the hope of slowing down Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.”
Whilst it was a result worth celebrating for Neville, his former Manchester United teammate in Ronaldo was clearly unhappy.
In fact, the forward even approached the Englishman about his devious ways. Neville said: “Cristiano came over to me before the game and said ‘it’s a disgrace, cut the pitch’ – I said ‘absolutely no chance’. There was no way he was dribbling that night.”
The result was one of few highlights during Neville’s reign as Valencia coach, which lasted just twenty-eight games. Still, he did what many La Liga coaches couldn’t do, which is to stop Ronaldo getting on the score-sheet, albeit through a rather unorthodox method.