Manchester United Champions League winner Patrice Evra has rejected critics of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo, 37, has not disappointed in front of goal in his second stint at Old Trafford, scoring 24 times in 38 appearances last season.
However, the Portuguese’s return did not inspire United on the pitch, as a miserable sixth-place Premier League finish saw them miss out on Champions League qualification for 2022/23.
“Cristiano – it’s not a question,” Evra told the Mirror. “Can we leave this guy alone? He’s got 18 goals. Where would we be if Cristiano wasn’t in this squad?
“That’s why when people talk about him, I’m like, ‘those people are not in peace with themselves or they are jealous’.
“It’s so crazy, I don’t even want to answer that question anymore because I’ve answered so many times.
“I will give you one thing: put Cristiano Ronaldo in the Manchester City, Liverpool or Chelsea team [and he will do well]. But put one of their best players – put Mo Salah in United – [he will struggle] like every player.
“And they say it’s because he’s my friend or whatever. No. I’m in love with his work ethic, with his professionalism.
“He’s 37. This guy, even at 40, will still score goals. And he’s here for that, that’s what people want from him.
“So, that’s why when people ask me about Cristiano, sometimes I just don’t wanna answer anymore because he’s proved so many times – hat-tricks or whatever.
“And the funny part is when people say he doesn’t defend. When he won the Ballon d’Or in 2008, Cristiano’s best quality was not to defend.
“So let’s talk about what he’s good at, and what he’s good at is to score goals.”