Rio Ferdinand, a former Manchester United defender, has talked about why world-famous Cristiano Ronaldo has not returned for pre-season training with the club.
Speaking on his FIVE YouTube Channel, Ferdinand insisted that a family member of Ronaldo is having health issues.
The 37-year-old is yet to show up at Carrington ahead of the new season, amid talk he has requested to leave United this summer.
But Ferdinand said: “I’ve been seeing people being a touch disrespectful. The way that people are questioning ‘he’s not here’ and the hysteria surrounding it. A member of his family is not well, so he’s not at training.
“This is the most consummate, most professional athlete that we’ve seen on these shores. The most professional athlete we’ve seen for over 15 years and people are questioning this guy’s professionalism and why he’s not at the training ground.
“Yeah he might want to leave, he might not be happy with certain things at the football club, but in terms of professionalism, this guy is training where he is – we’ve seen the pictures.
“His family are there, he needs to be where they are and you have to respect that. Simple as. Could it have been communicated better by the club? Probably.”