Cristiano Ronaldo is a doubt for Manchester United’s trip to Aston Villa on Saturday after he reportedly pulled out of training with a thigh problem.
Ralf Rangnick’s side travel to Villa Park in the Premier League this weekend to take on Steven Gerrard’s big-spending side.
According to The Sun, Ronaldo left United’s training session at Carrington early on Thursday and went home after sustaining a thigh problem. The Portuguese forward was checked over by the club’s medical team before heading back home.
Cristiano Ronaldo is a doubt for Manchester United’s trip to Aston Villa on Saturday
Ronaldo left United’s training session early on Thursday due to a thigh problem
The 36-year-old was forced to miss Monday’s FA Cup win over Villa with a small muscular problem but said earlier this week he was aiming to resume training on Thursday.
He told Premier League Productions: ‘I’m good. I just have a little touch but, you know, it’s part of my work.
‘You know, we have to feel some pain sometimes. It’s nothing big and I hope to be good soon.’
Asked if he will make the Villa game, he said: ‘I hope so. We will try on Thursday. I will try to train as normal.
‘Let’s see how the body reacts. Fingers crossed. I’m confident.’
Ronaldo has had an oxygen chamber put into his home that helps him recover from muscle problems. But he faces a race against time to be fit for the trip to Villa Park.
It comes after Ronaldo launched a damning attack on his team-mates earlier this week, urging them to show more pride in their performance.
The striker, who believes his fellow players are not as committed to the cause as he is, said: ‘I say we have a long way to improve because, for me, the most important thing is the mentality. To look at yourself and say, “I can do better”.
‘For you to be professional, help the team, the right mentality, self-taught and positive. All these details depend on you, not the coaches, the fans or the press. If you are proud of yourself and you have dignity, you have to do it much more.’
It would be another major blow for Ralf Rangnick and his side’s pursuit of a top-four finish
Ronaldo stays behind after training to work on his fitness but, as Sportsmail revealed, he is baffled that more of his team-mates do not do the same. He also hinted that United’s younger players are not listening to his words of wisdom.
‘If I give you advice, even if you are younger than me, if you don’t implant that during your daily life, it will be difficult,’ he said. ‘I will be the No 1 to help. But if you don’t want my help, do your job, look for yourself, do your best to help the team.
‘I can speak all day with that person but if it’s not coming from inside of you, it’s impossible. When I was 18, 19, 20, some older players spoke with me, but I put that as, “Cristiano, you have to improve”.
Sportsmail has also learned of one example where Ronaldo complained privately that he is one of the only United players who goes to the gym to do extra work before and after training at Carrington.
United have slumped to seventh in the Premier League amid concerns over a dressing-room divide, and fans displayed a banner with the solitary word ‘standards’ during Monday’s FA Cup win over Aston Villa.
Ronaldo said this week he believes his fellow players are not as committed to the cause as he is
Ronaldo questioned the mind-set of United’s players in an interview with Sky Sports on Thursday, and hinted that some of them are ignoring his advice.
Asked if a team can succeed without the right mentality, he replied: ‘Impossible. I think that’s the main point.
‘This is why I say we have a long way to improve because, for me, the most important thing is the mentality. To look at yourself and say, “I can do better”.
‘For you to be professional, help the team, have the right mentality, be self-taught and positive. I think all these details depend on you, not the coaches, the fans or the press. If you are proud of yourself and you have some dignity, you have to do it much more.’