December 5, 2022

Inevitably we all get older and one of the surest indicators that that’s happening is when we start to complain about the younger generations being lazier than ours.

37-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo is clearly struggling to come to terms with this process as he lets rip at just about everyone connected to Man United.

In his case, it can’t be easy going from someone who was always among the fastest, strongest and most talented players on the pitch to the fading force seen this season.

And in one telling moment during his explosive chat with Piers Morgan, he went full Roy Keane/Grampa Simpson when lashing out at what he sees as the wasted youth of modern players.

He moaned: “They don’t listen. They don’t care. They’re not going to have longevity in their career.

“This generation, not many are going to reach the level.

“I don’t think they disrespect experienced players, that’s not the word. But it’s a different generation.

“There’s no hunger, they have things too easy. They don’t suffer.

“All leagues in the world, the youngest now, they are not the same as my generation.

“But we cannot blame them because, it’s part of life, you know.

“The new generation and the new technologies that distract them for another thing so… but they are not the same.

“They listen but this is why we have two ears, as you listen from one side and they go away from another side.

“It doesn’t surprise me. But in the same way it’s a shame because if they have the best examples in front of your eyes, and if they don’t at least copy what you did, for me, it’s kind of weird.


“Because I remember when I was 18, 19, 20, I always looked to see the best players in Ruud van Nistelrooy, Rio Ferdinand, Roy Keane, and Ryan Giggs – this is why I have the success that I have and longevity.

“Because I take care of my body, my mentality, my head, because I see these guys and I learn from them.”

Keane’s punditry on Sky is continually full of this sort of sentiment with him only having said a few weeks ago (while defending Ronaldo) that ‘every week we come on here and praise bad players’.

Now, of course Ronaldo is one of the greatest players of all time and Keane is a legend in his own right too so perhaps there is merit in their complaints about the teens and twentysomethings breaking through nowadays.

But it is striking that such criticisms are endlessly repeated by the older generation in any decade.

Once upon a time, CR7 was widely viewed as a show pony who was too focused on pulling off flicks and tricks rather scoring and setting up goals.

It’s been a long, long time since anyone levelled that criticism at the five-time Ballon d’Or winner but time unfortunately waits for no man…not even someone who has tried his level best to fight against it like Ronaldo has.

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