Gary Neville reacts to ‘horrible’ scenes for Cristiano Ronaldo after end of maligned former Man Utd star’s World Cup dream

Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal press conference

Cristiano Ronaldo has received a sympathetic message from former Manchester United teammate Gary Neville after Portugal’s elimination from the World Cup.

Portugal were knocked out by Morocco in the quarter-finals over the weekend. It means that Ronaldo, 37, is unlikely to get another chance to win the World Cup. Although his country won Euro 2016, the global honour will be missing from his cabinet.

After the defeat to Morocco, Ronaldo departed down the tunnel in tears.

Ronaldo released a statement in the aftermath admitting that his dream of winning the World Cup had ended. It is not yet clear if he will keep playing for Portugal; right now, he is mainly thinking about finding a new club after his departure from Man Utd.

His second spell at Old Trafford was controversial and ended with a contract termination. Although he was the club’s top scorer last season, many felt he had become a disruptive influence to the team’s progress.

Former teammate Neville was among those who had been calling for Man Utd to get rid of Ronaldo. His criticism has extended beyond his actual exit from the club, after similar themes were noticed in his reactions to being benched by Portugal as they were back in Manchester.

However, Neville has now shared some sympathy for the former Real Madrid superstar.

Neville told Sky Sports: “I do want to mention Cristiano Ronaldo because I saw that image of him crying in the tunnel.

“That was a horrible image for me. That’s that moment where he knows his dream of winning the World Cup for his country has gone.

“We’ve all been there at the end of our careers. But he’s one of the greatest, if not the greatest player of all time.

“It was horrible to see him like that. He’s had a tough couple of months.”

Cristiano Ronaldo still leaving a legacy

Ronaldo’s record with Portugal reads 196 caps and 118 goals. He is the highest scorer of all time in men’s international football.

Indeed, Ronaldo’s legendary status is secure, but adding the World Cup trophy would have capped it all off.

Although a divisive character, Ronaldo does deserve some sympathy after what has been a difficult year on and off the pitch.

The fact that someone like Neville can change his tune to acknowledge that shows that Ronaldo still has earned some respect, no matter how things have changed for him professionally in recent months.

As stated, though, now he has to get his mind back on sorting out his club future.

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