Anthony Elanga defends Ronaldo on his criticism of younger players

‘I can understand what he is saying’: Anthony Elanga defends Man United team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo on his criticism of younger players… as the Portuguese superstar claims they are ‘not the same’ as his generation

  • Anthony Elanga has defended Cristiano Ronaldo’s criticism of younger players
  • Ronaldo has slammed the attitude and professionalism of United’s young stars
  • Portuguese superstar says young footballers are ‘not the same’ as his generation
  • Elanga understands Ronaldo’s comments due to the lure of modern technology 

Manchester United forward Anthony Elanga has defended team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo on his criticism of younger players during his bombshell interview with Piers Morgan.

In his explosive interview on TalkTV, the Portugal international spoke out a range of topics including his relationship with current boss Erik ten Hag, and the forward also complained that young players have it too easy and don’t listen to his advice.

Elanga, 20, who made his first-team debut for United in May 2021, has publicly defended Ronaldo’s comments while making it clear that himself and the Red Devils other youngsters are committed. 

Anthony Elanga has defended team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo on his criticism of younger players

The Sweden international admitted that he can understand his team-mates comments and knows it is extremely different to when Ronaldo was a youngster at Old Trafford. 

Elanga told Swedish outlet Aftonbladet: ‘Cristiano talks about young players in general. We are a new generation. I am always 100 percent focused on what I am doing, but I can understand what he is saying.

‘There are a lot of phones and a lot of technology. It’s quite easy for young players to get distracted and lose focus. I always focus 100 percent on my job and what I do.

‘Young players at United are listening, but I can understand what he is saying.’

The Sweden international admitted that he can understand his team-mates recent comments

He added: ‘It is quite difficult. Everyone has their phones and I have friends in Manchester and in Sweden who want to find out what has happened. I don’t know that myself. I only know what others have heard. Hopefully I will find out the truth.

‘I try to switch off. But everyone is curious, my family is almost the worst, they always want to know. That’s how it is. I might be able to say more after I get back to the club team and find out what actually happened.’

Elanga, who has made 13 appearances in total this campaign, was also quizzed on Ronaldo’s impact at Old Trafford.

The Swedish forward was also quizzed on Ronaldo’s impact at Old Trafford since his return

‘He has helped me a lot not only on the pitch but off it as well. He is an inspiration, not only to me but to all the young players at United. Sometimes it’s just me and him at the gym.’

He added: ‘When I’m with him, he hasn’t changed. He is still Cristiano Ronaldo to me. He has helped me a lot.’

Elanga’s comments come off the back of Ronaldo’s criticism of United’s younger players in his explosive interview earlier this week. 

His comments come after Ronaldo claiming youngsters are not the same as his generation

‘I don’t think that they don’t respect the more experienced players or the older players, but they live in a different era. I can say that for my kid that’s 12 years old, the mentality is not the same.

‘Their hunger [is different]. I think they have things more easily, everything’s easy, they don’t suffer – and they don’t care.

‘I don’t mean only a few in Manchester United, but all the teams in all leagues in the world, the youngsters are not the same of my generation. But you cannot blame them, because it’s part of the life and the new generation, the new technologies that distract them.

‘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 Van Nistelrooy, Ferdinand, Roy Keane, and Giggs – this is why I have the success that I have and longevity. 

‘I take care of my body, my mentality, my head, because I see these guys and I learn from them.’




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