Patrice Evra issues passionate defence of Cristiano Ronaldo’s first season back at Man Utd

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Former Manchester United defender Patrice Evra has hit back at Cristiano Ronaldo’s critics.

Ronaldo has had a less than idea first season back at Manchester United, with his side only managed to scrape a sixth place finish.

The Portuguese superstar would have had much loftier ambitions, but he has been left frustrated by failures at Old Trafford.

Ronaldo wasn’t in the best form himself, either, but he still managed 24 goals across all competitions, making 39 appearances in all.

Still, given his standards from a hugely successful career, the veteran has come in for some criticism.

And a former teammate of his in Evra, has reacted passionately during an interview with the Mirror.

“Cristiano – it’s not a question,” he said.

“Can we leave this guy alone? He’s got 18 [league] goals. Where would we be if Cristiano wasn’t in this squad?

“That’s why when people talk about him, I’m like, ‘those people are not in peace with themselves or they are jealous’. It’s so crazy, I don’t even want to answer that question anymore because I’ve answered so many times.

“I will give you one thing: put Cristiano Ronaldo in the Manchester City, Liverpool or Chelsea team [and he will do well].

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“But put one of their best players – put Mo Salah in United – [he will struggle] like every player. And they say it’s because he’s my friend or whatever.

“No. I’m in love with his work ethic, with his professionalism. He’s 37. This guy, even at 40, will still score goals. And he’s here for that, that’s what people want from him.

“So, that’s why when people ask me about Cristiano, sometimes I just don’t wanna answer anymore because he’s proved so many times – hat-tricks or whatever.

“And the funny part is when people say he doesn’t defend. When he won the Ballon d’Or in 2008, Cristiano’s best quality was not to defend.

“So let’s talk about what he’s good at, and what he’s good at is to score goals.”

Ronald has, of course, outperformed the rest of his teammates in terms of goals, and he certainly has done his part in a difficult season.

But following his time at Juventus, there was talk of the Old Lady struggling to build a successful team because of his presence and the reliance that builds on him.

There will, no doubt, be questions along the same lines at United as time progresses.

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