2 of soccer's best-known pundits had a furious argument live on air about Cristiano Ronaldo's purpose at Manchester United
- Cristiano Ronaldo's return to British football continues to divide opinion.
- Ronaldo was the subject of a furious debate between pundits Roy Keane and Jamie Carragher on Sunday.
Roy Keane and Jamie Carragher, two of British soccer's best-known pundits, had a furious argument live on air about what Cristiano Ronaldo's purpose is at Manchester United after the striker started on the bench in Sunday's 1-1 draw against Chelsea.
Caretaker manager Michael Carrick named Ronaldo among the substitutes at Stamford Bridge, instead starting with Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho up-top.
Though the Portugal international eventually replaced Sancho, whose opener was cancelled out by a Jorginho penalty, in the 64th, he was unable to have any real impact on the match.
Ronaldo's omission prompted a fierce argument on Sky Sports between Keane and Carragher after the match.
Keane's argument was that the 36-year-old should be an automatic starter, while Carragher questioned whether the club should have ever signed him from Juventus in the summer.
"Ronaldo has not come back to Manchester United to sit on the bench. What is the point?" Keane, who made nearly 500 appearances for United during his playing career, fumed.
"He is a world-class player."
Carragher hit back: "Ronaldo's not the player he was. He's still obviously delivering for Manchester United in terms of goals, but I don't think it should be a big story if Ronaldo doesn't start every game or at times comes off in a game of football."
After Keane detailed that Ronaldo should not be expected to press from the front, as is likely to be the case when United appoint Ralf Rangnick as interim manager, Carragher questioned why United signed Ronaldo at all.
"Why did Manchester United sign Ronaldo in the summer?" he said. "They signed him because they were terrified he was going to go to Man City. That's why they signed him."
The former Liverpool and England defender added: "Are United closer to the league title right now than they were last season? No."
As tempers flared and the pair exchanged personal blows about their own career achievements, Keane concluded the argument by insisting Ronaldo was brought back to Old Trafford to help the club win trophies, but not necessarily the Premier League.
"He has come back for the FA Cup and the Champions League!" — he said. "They were never going to win the league. Ronaldo was never going to close the gap."
Watch the war of words unfold here:
—Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) November 28, 2021
While Keane isn't on social media, Carragher appeared to see the funny side of their quarrel afterwards.
On top of sharing footage of the spat on Twitter with a popcorn emoji, he also updated his Twitter profile picture to a snap of the former Chelsea striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, who was sat in-between the pair during the argument, smiling.
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