A FORMER colleague of Cristiano Ronaldo’s new manager has described him as the “worst person” he has ever known in his footballing career in a hard-hitting character assassination.
Ex-Brazilian international Juninho Pernambucano claimed Rudi Garcia would serve the former Manchester United striker his breakfast if necessary to keep on his right side.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s new manager Rudi Garcia has been slammed by ex-Brazilian international Juninho PernambucanoCredit: Reuters
Juninho has said that Garcia is ‘the worst character’ he met in footballCredit: Getty
The former midfielder, considered by many to be the greatest free-kick taker of all time, added: “He doesn’t know how to lead anything.
“He leads out of the fear he imposes on others.”
Juninho and current Al-Nassr boss Garcia coincided at Lyon when the Brazilian was sporting director of the French club and the Frenchman the manager.
The 40-times-capped Brazil midfielder’s relationship with Ronaldo’s new boss was known to be bad, with Juninho saying when Garcia left Lyon at the end of the 2020-21 season: “He’s a cold and calculating person, very untrusting and insecure.
“That’s why he instils fear in employees and the technical staff in general.”
In an interview with the online Portuguese sports site MaisFutebol Juninho, whose real name is Antonio Augusto Ribeiro Reis Junior, said: “My experience with Rudi Garcia was terrible.
“He’s the worst character I’ve known in all my footballing career.”
Confirming he believed he will go out of his way to suck up to Ronaldo, he added: “He won’t dare to do anything obstructive.
“On the contrary, he will even serve Cristiano his breakfast if necessary.
“He will try to be his friend and will do everything possible for that. It will be his dream to be Cristiano Ronaldo’s friend.
“Rudi Garcia doesn’t care about the team’s success or dressing room harmony.
“What matters to him is that he’s the centre of attention, whatever the crisis.
“But like all cold human beings, he recognises those that are better than him and tries to take advantage of it.
“Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the greatest in the history of football, a legend, and Rudi knows that.”
Juninho also said he was speaking out only because of admiration for Cristiano, who he “admired and respected” because talking about Rudi Garcia sapped him of energy.
Dad-of-five Ronaldo, 37, rebuffed criticism of his move to Al-Nassr during his official unveiling earlier this week, saying he was “proud” of his decision and claiming his work in Europe was done.
He said: “I played the most important clubs in Europe, and for me now, it’s a new challenge.”
The Portuguese international is said to have penned a deal until 2025 worth around £173 million, making him the highest-paid sportsperson ever.
Al Nassr’s first match since unveiling Cristiano Ronaldo was been called off due to rain causing electrical problems.