Euro 2024: Patrice Evra Bashes Cristiano Ronaldo's Critics, 'Won't Be Surprised If He Plays Till 45…'

Patrice Evra said that Cristiano Ronaldo will prove a lot of people wrong, and the upcoming Euro 2024 will be a big tournament for the 39-year-old. The former Manchester United skipper also said that he will not be surprised if CR7 will keep playing until 45, because he is still at his peak.
Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates during Portugal's 3-0 win over Ireland.

Photo : AP
Former Manchester United left-back Patrice Evra has come out in the defence of Cristiano Ronaldo, amid the uncertainty over CR7’s inclusion in Portugal’s playing XI at Euro 2024. Many former experts have questioned Ronaldo, and some have even advised Portugal coach Roberto Martinez to bench the 39-year-old.
Evra meanwhile has silenced all the talk surrounding Ronaldo, saying that the Portuguese remains as dangerous as ever, and he can go on to keep playing until the age of 45. While many experts are assuming that the upcoming Euros in Germany will be Cristiano’s last international tournament, his former United teammate Evra disagrees.
For his part, Cristiano Ronaldo scored a brace in Portugal’s recent 3-0 win over Ireland, and he has now scored more goals (78) after turning 30 than the legendary Pele scored in his entire international career for Brazil (77).
When quizzed about why there are so many questions surrounding CR7, Evra told SportsNow in a select media interaction that there are people who are ‘jealous’ of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
"This is Cristiano Ronaldo we're talking about, the best player in the world and I think people are jealous, a lot of people criticise Cristiano and they don't want him to succeed,” said Evra.
“When he went to Saudi, they say oh it's not a good league, when I talk with players they say it's really difficult. They're always talking about his age but trust me, Cristiano, I never saw someone working hard like him. I think not even 18 or 20-year-olds can do what Cristiano Ronaldo is doing,” the France legend added.
Patrice Evra continued, “I talked to (Roberto) Martinez the coach of Portugal, he said 'Patrice I love him, I love him'. He leads with example, that's why it's a big tournament for him, and he will prove a lot of people wrong.
Having shared the dressing room with Ronaldo at Manchester United, Evra reiterated his stance on the Messi-Ronaldo debate. Cristiano has had to work hard to keep competing with Lionel, who received a ‘gift’ from the god, says Evra.
“People always say I pick Ronaldo over Messi because Ronaldo is my brother now I do that because I'm in love with the work ethic. Messi, god gave him a gift but Cristiano, he had to work out to be where he is,” he stated.
The legendary defender further gave an insight into Ronaldo’s mentality, and his hunger for goals, and predicted that the Al Nassr star is not even thinking of retirement.
“With Cristiano, you know his secret is he's always angry no matter what he wins, no matter what he achieved, he has that anger so that's why until Ronaldo is angry he will keep playing football. I won't be surprised if he keeps playing till 45 because I don't think in his head he's like even thinking of retiring one day," Patrice concluded.
Patrice Evra is the expert panellist on Sony Sports Network's studio show Football Extraaa for UEFA EURO 2024.
Watch UEFA EURO 2024 from 15th June 2024, 12:30 AM IST onwards, LIVE on Sony Sports Ten 2 SD & HD, Sony Sports Ten 3 SD & HD (Hindi), Sony Sports Ten 4 SD & HD (Tamil / Telugu), Sony Sports Ten 5 SD & HD (Malayalam / Bengali).
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