Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has been accused of causing disunity in the squad by former Liverpool icon John Barnes.

As quoted by the Mirror, former Liverpool superstar John Barnes has blasted Manchester United talisman, Cristiano Ronaldo, claiming that the Portuguese’s presence hindered the team from achieving their best.

Ronaldo made a shock return to Manchester United last summer, coming back to his old stomping ground 12 years after leaving for Real Madrid. The superstar’s arrival raised several eyebrows, with some sections hailing the signing as a coup while some questioned the move due to his age.

Ronaldo went on to enjoy a stunning 2021/22 campaign on a personal level, bagging 24 goals competitions across all competitions, and finishing as the club’s top scorer. The 37-year-old won several games single-handedly for Manchester United throughout the campaign, with the Red Devils failing to win a single game without their maverick in the side.

Despite his undoubted influence, pundits and critics have still been critical of Ronaldo. Barnes has now joined the bandwagon to claim that the former Real Madrid superstar’s arrival has disrupted the squad and led to ‘disunity’ and ‘disharmony’ in the roster.

“He (Ronaldo) causes disunity and disharmony. When the ball does not come to him, he throws his hands up in the air… that’s a great example, isn’t it? The harmony at Manchester United is a problem and who causes that disharmony? He (Ronaldo) walks around as though … ‘it’s the rest of them, I’m doing my job’,” Barnes said.

“That’s not what a leader does – that’s what someone who does it for himself does. The fans love him, and when things don’t go his way, he’s like … ‘it’s not my fault.’ That is not what a team is all about. So we know Ronaldo has done well for himself but would you rather have no one scoring 20 goals a season and United finishing higher up?”

Adding further, Barnes claimed that Manchester United would have finished higher with Ronaldo, with the former Liverpool ace blaming the 37-year-old for the poor form of several other Red Devils’ stars this season. “I think they would be higher up if they had a better TEAM. If the harmony is better, Ronaldo won’t score the goals but the team would be a better team and would be winning matches,” he said.

“He (Ronaldo) detracts from other players. (Marcus) Rashford would have had a better season, (Bruno) Fernandes would have had a better season, (Jadon) Sancho would have had a better season. Whoever signed Ronaldo, it is their fault,” Barnes concluded.

Manchester United ended their campaign in sixth place in the Premier League and will be involved in the UEFA Europa League next season. Ronaldo’s future has been a subject of discussion due to the lack of Champions League football, but new manager Erik ten Hag wants to keep the 37-year-old at the club.

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