One one side you have Paul Merson, who told Sky Sports this week he thinks Manchester United are a better team without Cristiano Ronaldo.
Then on the other side you have Lionel Messi, who told Marca that Ronaldo’s re-adaptation has been ‘impressive’.
Luis Figo has now weighed in, and he stands on the same side as Messi, not Merson.
Figo believes criticism of Ronaldo’s Manchester United performances is laughable.
Speaking to Portuguese newspaper A Bola, Figo said: “[It] does not make sense. He is the best. Football lives on results and the team is not achieving the expected results. But he’s being one of the best in the team in terms of performance, so I don’t understand these criticisms.”
Figo added that he believes Ronaldo has a credible case to win this year’s Ballon d’Or, commenting also on Lionel Messi and Karim Benzema, “They have enough arguments to win.”
Ronaldo responded on the pitch
Ronaldo admittedly did not have a great game at the weekend as United lost lost to Watford. He landed only one shot on target from four attempts, although he did provide the assist for Donny van de Beek’s goal.
The forward responded by scoring a crucial game-turning goal in the win over Villarreal, netting United’s opener in the 2-0 win.
Ronaldo now has six goals in five Champions League matches this season, and 10 in total since joining United.
After a run of chaotic games under Solskjaer, United made everything look strikingly easy in midweek. Time will tell whether the team can carry on a winning run.
Ronaldo does need to get back on the scoresheet in the Premier League, where his strike against Tottenham was his only one in his last seven domestic matches.
But as Figo points out, he is not the problem. Without his goals, United would be struggling to qualify out of the Champions League group. Instead, top spot is already secured with a game to spare.
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