Gary Neville told the Sky Sports World Cup Podcast: “I don’t think there’s any doubt Cristiano needs, wants and has to play. Otherwise, he’s not going to be happy and he’s not going to accept it. That means the club that take him will know that’s the case.
“Unless there’s a change of heart or approach, and the club and the player decide to have an honest conversation and say, ‘Come and play for us, but you’re going to be sat on the bench every other week, and you’re going to compete for your place.’
“But we’ve seen at the last two teams he’s played in, United and Portugal, that that’s not gone down particularly well for either party.
“I think that pressure of having him on the bench, and how the media is so big, he’s so big with the fans, he’s one of the great players to have ever played the game, that seeing him on the bench is almost like a magnet for trouble for the club he’s playing for, because the focus becomes the player who’s not on the pitch, rather than the players who are playing.
“At that point, you need to make sure it doesn’t become a distraction. That’s where it got to at United and it’s where it got to with Portugal at the end. So, I think it’s got to be a very careful decision made by the club and by Cristiano.”
Ronaldo failed to impress for Man United in the first half of the 2022-23 campaign, only managing three goals in 16 appearances in all competitions.
He struggled at the World Cup in Qatar, prompting former Portugal manager Fernando Santos to drop him.