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Man Utd hero Gary Neville weighs in on Cristiano Ronaldo, Harry Maguire and club captaincy | Football | Sport


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Manchester United legend Gary Neville has weighed in on the matter of the club’s captaincy. Reports recently stated that Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire were involved in a power struggle behind the scenes, with players apparently thinking the Portugal international was primed to be given the armband. However, that’s something Maguire and interim boss Ralf Rangnick have both denied.

Manchester United made Maguire captain in January 2020, shortly after the departure of Ashley Young to Inter Milan on a free transfer.

Yet he’s struggled for consistency ever since and, at times this term, has fallen behind Victor Lindelof in the pecking order.

United did see Maguire at his brilliant best on Sunday, with the England international shinning in his side’s 4-2 win over Leeds.

The 28-year-old scored the opening goal of the game at Elland Road, while further strikes from Bruno Fernandes, Fred and Anthony Elanga secured all three points.

Neville has now addressed the recent rumours about Maguire and Ronaldo.

And he feels that, despite the speculation, his old side still have players capable of standing up and making the difference.

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“Manchester United have got to become more difficult to play against,” he said.

“They are playing Atletico Madrid away on Wednesday; they have got Tottenham, Liverpool, Manchester City coming up.

“It is a big month and that month is going to define the season in terms of finishing in the top four and progressing in the Champions League.

“There is a lot of stuff coming out on a continuous basis: the captaincy, who they want as the next manager, cliques in the dressing room.

“All that sort of stuff comes out, but they do continue to keep having those big moments in matches where their brilliant players can still deliver for them and they do win games in moments.

“But the test is now the next month.


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“This period was always going to come and it is here. That was the start of it and I thought it was a really difficult game.

“Leeds are a team who do invite you on to try and score goals against them, but it is still one of the most difficult places for Manchester United to come.

“They have got to stop those mad moments, those five-minute periods where they concede two goals, because if you concede two against City, Liverpool or Atletico, you are out of the game. I think this [the game against Leeds] is a warning sign.”

Neville’s verdict was delivered after Rangnick branded the Ronaldo and Maguire captaincy debacle as ‘nonsense’.

“This is absolutely nonsense,” said the 63-year-old.

“I have never spoken to any player about a chance in captaincy, Harry is aware of that and Cristiano. I

“It’s me who decides who is captain and I don’t have to talk to anyone else about that.

“Harry is our captain and he will stay our captain.”

He then added: “I’m not frustrated because it’s not the truth.

“Harry is the captain, it’s not an issue and hasn’t been an issue. My full focus is preparing the team in training for the next game.

“I have heard what is written I can only tell you from my personal experience.

“There were players unhappy until the close of the window because the squad was too big and players weren’t getting game time. The atmosphere in the dressing room is better than it was a few weeks ago for that reason.

“It’s about performing well, togetherness on the pitch and winning games. They are the things we can influence.”

United will lock horns with Atletico Madrid on Wednesday (8pm).

They’ve met just twice in the past, with the Red Devils drawing with their La Liga opponents in the 1991 UEFA European Cup Winners Cup after losing 3-0 in the reverse fixture.

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