Old footage emerges of Roy Keane blasting Cristiano Ronaldo in training

Roy Keane and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Old footage has emerged of Roy Keane blasting Cristiano Ronaldo for not tracking back during a Manchester United training game.

Keane and Ronaldo shared a dressing room for just under two-and-a-half years, when the former was the influential club captain and the latter was a raw fledgling, honing the skills that would go on to make him one of the greatest players of all time.

Cristiano Ronaldo return.

Almost two decades on and it’s Ronaldo who is the revered senior figure at the club, having been away for 12 glittering years with Real Madrid and Juventus, before returning to Old Trafford as a 36-year-old last summer.

Last season, there were multiple reports that Ronaldo was surprised at how much the standards at Man United had dropped since his first spell, so he would be forgiven for harking back to the days when he would have been berated by Keane as a youngster.

One such incident features in an old clip in which Keane can be heard getting on Ronaldo’s case for failing to track back during a small-sided game.

“C’mon, Cristiano…”

“C’mon, Cristiano,” the Corkman is heard to say before repeating “Cristiano, c’mon!,” when a goal goes in.

The footage (above) was shared a while back by Twitter account @utd_clips before being re-shared to a huge response by Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News earlier this week.

While it may seem that Keane was simply dishing out one of his characteristic rollickings, it’s common knowledge how much the former captain recognised the talent in Ronaldo from the moment the Portuguese forward joined the club in 2003.

It’s more likely that Keane was trying to encourage the youngster not to let his talents go to waste, while teaching him about the level of intensity that was required at every Man United training session in those days.

Roy Keane: “I liked the lad.”

“I liked the lad straightaway,” Keane wrote in his 2014 autobiography The Second Half. “He had a nice presence about him, and a good attitude.”

“What impressed me most was that he’d been given the option of staying in Lisbon for another year, on loan, but he said no; he’d come over to Manchester straightaway. I thought it was a good, brave decision – because he was only seventeen.”

How Ronaldo must wish United had a few more players like Keane last season, when the club registered their worst campaign of the Premier League era.

With new manager Erik ten Hag known for the intensity of his training sessions, perhaps the Old Trafford standards are about to creep up once more.

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