The ex-England team-mates have gone back and forth in a spicy Twitter row regarding the Manchester United forward, whom the latest reports suggest will be allowed to leave Old Trafford during the January transfer window.
Ronaldo has started just one match - the Europa League home defeat by Real Sociedad - since the 4-0 humiliation at Brentford in August and has become a bit-part player at best under Erik ten Hag despite his illustrious reputation.
The Portuguese was once again confined to the substitutes’ bench for the embarrassing 6-3 Manchester derby thrashing by City on Sunday, with Ten Hag admitting afterwards that he didn’t send him on at the Etihad partially ‘out of respect’ - a view that has been much criticised in the days since.
Carragher initially tweeted on Monday: “The idea that ETH got it wrong yesterday by not playing Ronaldo is laughable! Ronaldo played at Brentford when it was 4-0 at ht!! It’s not a dig at CR, but Rashford’s pace on the counter attack as we saw v Arsenal/Liverpool was the best option.”
No I’m delighted it went viral!
Rio I know how it works, he’s your mate & you/Evra & the rest are on the group WhatsApp & he asks you to come out & defend him, don’t be his fan boy you’re Rio Ferdinand for FFS!! https://t.co/TNydLRb6YS
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) October 3, 2022
Ferdinand, along with fellow pundit and ex-United star Roy Keane among others, clearly believes Ronaldo should be playing more frequently and shot back: “Carra you still upset he didn’t shake ur hand at Old Trafford? The hardest thing to do in football is score goals…”
Carragher responded: “No I’m delighted it went viral! Rio I know how it works, he’s your mate & you/[Patrice]Evra & the rest are on the group WhatsApp & he asks you to come out & defend him, don’t be his fan boy you’re Rio Ferdinand for FFS!!”
Ferdinand then replied: “What WhatsApp group?! Leave off lad…I want this same energy with Roy keane when ya next in the studio ffs stop getting bullied.”
Ronaldo will be expected to return to United’s starting lineup on Thursday evening, when they return to Europa League duty with a trip to face Omonia Nicosia in Cyprus.