Cristiano Ronaldo always got plenty of stick when he was in England - Paul Scholes column

EXCLUSIVE: He would get the worst of it from players like Ben Thatcher and Michael Ball

I was in the Manchester United team the night that Cristiano Ronaldo was sent off for going head-to-head with Richard Hughes in a game against Portsmouth at Fratton Park in 2007.

Like a lot of very good players, Cristiano had to take a lot of stick from opponents and for the most part he took it well and got on with the game. But, as with all of us, there is a breaking point and it seemed like he reached it again with his sending-off against Cordoba last weekend.

 

In England, he would get the worst of it from players like Ben Thatcher and Michael Ball when we played Manchester City. He did well not to react. These days, players like Cristiano are afforded a lot more protection and the days of going through an opposing team’s best players are, thankfully, long gone.

Yet it shows that, for all the restraint, the drip-drip of persistent fouling can still have an effect on even the top players.

Read Paul Scholes' full column, exclusively for The Independent, here.

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