Cristiano Ronaldo said he will “close the mouths” of his critics and that they “do not want to see” his defensive work in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports.
Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United on Transfer Deadline Day was greeted with fanfare and the six goals of his second spell at Old Trafford have proved pivotal in Europe and the Premier League, providing late winners in both of their Champions League group-stage victories to date.
However, United’s ropey form has not seen the five-time Ballon d’Or winner immune from criticism. Data graphics have put the 36-year-old at the bottom of the pressing charts for forwards across the Premier League, which coupled with the club’s perceived soft underbelly has raised questions about Ronaldo’s overall impact.
In a wide-ranging interview with Sky Sports ahead of a showdown with Liverpool on Sky Sports Premier League this Sunday, the record international goalscorer hit back at his critics as not wanting to see the positives of his game, and said even as he enters his 20th season as a professional, his winning desire still burns as brightly as ever.
He said: “I know when the team needs my help defensively. But my role in the club is to win, help the team to win and to score goals – [the defensive side] is part of my job.
“The people who don’t want to see that is because they don’t like me but to be honest I’m 36, I win everything so am I going to be worried about the people who say bad things about me? I sleep good at night. I go to my bed with my conscience very good. Keep going with that because I will still close mouths and win things.
“Criticism is always part of the business. I’m not worried about that. And I see it as a good thing to be honest. If they worry about me or they speak about me, it’s because they know my potential and value in football still. So it’s good. I’ll give you an example: if you’re in a school and you’re the best student, you ask the worst student if he likes the best, they’ll say they don’t like him.