‘Ronaldo should track back? He’s the only exception’

Gary Neville believes his former team-mate is the only player he’s played with who should be excused from any defensive duties

Gary Neville insists Cristiano Ronaldo should be exempt from being forced to track back because of his attacking returns for Real Madrid.

A recently released biography on Ronaldo claims that he was involved in a heated exchange with Jose Mourinho in 2013 over his reluctance to defend but Neville, who won three Premier League titles and the Champions League with the Portuguese at Manchester United, feels his former team-mate should conserve his energy in order to score more goals.

“In some of the big games even while he was at United, he was pushed up front,” Neville said on Sky Sports’ ‘Monday Night Football’.


“He’s the only player I can remember who you’d give the licence to, in the sense that he’d score 45 goals a season, which is a monstrous amount of goals.

“So actually, in some ways, you want him to have the energy when his team’s on the ball.

“In a perfect world you’d want everyone to work hard and in a team, but he’s the exception to the rule in my career that I played with where I think he actually has a reason not to work back, he just does that much going forward.”

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