Watch: Gary Neville gives definitive verdict on Ronaldo departure

Gary Neville has delivered his definitive thoughts on Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure from Manchester United.

The 37-year-old now finds himself in the bizarre situation that he is a free agent whilst playing at the World Cup. Ronaldo’s exit was confirmed last week after he had given a damning interview on the club.

“The progress was zero,” he told Piers Morgan during an explosive interview in November 2022. “Since Sir Alex left, I saw no evolution in the club. Nothing had changed.

“I think the fans should know the truth. I want the best for the club. This is why I come to Manchester United.

“But you have some things inside that don’t help (us) reach the top level as City, Liverpool and even now Arsenal. A club with this dimension should be top of the tree in my opinion and they are not, unfortunately.

“Nothing changed since I left. The pool, the jacuzzi, even the gym, even some technology. Even the chefs who I appreciate, lovely people

“I thought I would see new technology, infrastructure. I saw things I saw when I was 20! I love Manchester United, I love the fans, they’re always on my side. But if they want to do it different, they have to change many, many things.”

Despite slipping out of the top four, Ronaldo had a successful 2021-22 campaign himself upon his return to Old Trafford.

Ronaldo scored a total of 24 goals last season and was particularly handy in the Champions League.

Upon Erik ten Hag’s arrival at the club, Ronaldo’s first-team chances then became more limited as he wasn’t a natural fit into the new system. The 37-year-old only started in four Premier League games under Ten Hag and scored just one league goal.

He will be hoping to get back to his usual self at the World Cup in Qatar and he has already made a positive start. Ronaldo was on target in Portugal’s opening match against Ghana from the penalty spot.

Neville thinks that Ronaldo will want to stay in Europe for the remainder of the season, before he considers offers from elsewhere.

“I think Cristiano Ronaldo is going to be looking for a top club on a four-month or five-month contract where he can go in and do a brilliant cameo role at the very elite of European football,” Neville told Sky Sports recently.

“That’s what I think his priority would be – to stay in the Champions League, to stay at the very top and prove that what happened at Manchester United wasn’t right.

“I think he’s got four or five great months in him somewhere where he’ll go in and score 15 or 20 goals in that period. Everybody in Manchester will say ‘why didn’t we keep him?’ and people in the Premier League will as well.”

READ MORE: 33 of the most ridiculous records Cristiano Ronaldo currently holds