As Cristiano Ronaldo continues to attempt to leave Manchester United, Bayern Munich defender Matthijs de Ligt has stepped up to defend his former teammate.
Ronaldo, who wants to leave Old Trafford in search of Champions League football, played for the Red Devils for just 45 minutes during the first half of Sunday’s 1-1 preseason draw with Rayo Vallecano.
The 37-year-old, however, left the stadium at intermission and has since received a public censure from new manager Erik ten Hag.
De Ligt claims that, in contrast to reports, he never observed the seasoned forward to be a disruptive influence and that he was a great team player during their two years of playing together at Juventus.
“Cristiano Ronaldo is a great character, he talks a lot with his teammates, with the young players, and is always ready to help. He will soon be 38, but he’s shaped like a 24-year-old and still scores his goals. You can only admire him,” De Ligt said in an interview with kicker.
“He did a great job at Juventus, he scored goals and was a great teammate. If you ask me who is the best player in the world inside the penalty area I say Ronaldo.
“You always have to keep an eye on him otherwise he scores.”