When Manchester United resigned Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer, there was a lot of hope and belief that he would be the destined one to guide United back into an era laden with silverware. He scored a brace against Newcastle on his second debut and scored a bunch of crucial goals to ensure that United remained alive in the Champion’s League.
Fast forward to March, the Portuguese superstar is enduring a nightmare of second half of the season. United have been knocked out of both their domestic cups, are out of the title race and struggling to cement a top 4 spot. Ronaldo’s goalscoring pace has also dried up and the lack of which has also brought much criticism on him for having influenced the team to cater to his playing style and then not delivering in front of goal.
Furthermore, he has also been getting injured a lot more often and that has only added to his frustrations. Ahead of Sunday’s Manchester Derby, Ronaldo was not spotted travelling with the team as it was said that he was carrying an injury that would have relapsed if he played. However, there were also numerous rumours that his absence was due to a technical decision as Rangnick wanted to play with a false-9 to defend better against the defending champions.
In the aftermath of this, further fuel was added to the fire as Ronaldo’s sister, Katia Aveiro, was spotted by fans on Instagram liking a page that had made a post over this line of thought for Ronaldo’s absence.
The Ronaldo fan page had the following to report: “Cristiano Ronaldo is not injured and he is not ill. The man is 100%. Good morning to you who, like me, are sad and angry because Rangnick decided to ruin our Sunday by taking CR7 out of the classic against Manchester City simply for tactical reasons, to defend himself more in the game.”
As someone so close to Ronaldo’s camp has liked this rumour, she had basically given the affirmation to fans across the world that there might just be some truth to it.
This is not the first time she has taken to social media to be involved in discussions about her brother’s profession. When Ronaldo’s Juventus beat Messi’s Barcelona in 2020, she shared a picture of Messi worshipping the Portuguese.
Despite the hints from Ronaldo’s sister, manager Ralf Rangnick has doubled down on his claim that Ronaldo was indeed out because of a hip flexor injury during a post-match presser –
🗣️: "I believe my medical department"— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) March 7, 2022
Ralf Rangnick reiterated that Ronaldo's absence in yesterday's derby clash was due to a hip flexor injury.
An Instagram post liked by Ronaldo's sister this morning suggests she has questioned the injury claims..🤔pic.twitter.com/KdqRyQxevu
Of course, as City went on to put 4 goals past David De Gea, dropping Ronaldo seems to have had no effect. However, in the long run, if these mysterious absences continue then it won’t be long before Ronaldo starts contemplating an early exit in search of greener pastures.