New Delhi, Jan 13 (IANS) Reacting to Christiano Ronaldo’s exit from Manchester United, former England defender Wesley Brown, who started his career at the same club, has said “it would have been nice for Ronaldo to stay till the end season.”
The Portugal captain had left United by mutual consent last year in November following his explosive interview with Piers Morgan. he has scored 145 goals in 346 appearances for the Premier League club.
In an interaction with IANS, Brown expressed his views on England’s FIFA World Cup performance, Ronaldo’s exit from Manchester United and more.
Q. How do you see England’s performance at the FIFA World Cup 2022?
A. I thought England did really well and it gets to that point where we need a little bit of luck. We missed the penalty and we’re out of the competition. It wasn’t necessarily that we play badly, obviously against a good team. It wasn’t meant to be, it’s a shame.
England have a very good squad, very talented who actually played well in the World Cup and you could see there were goals from everywhere and every angle. Well, it gets to the point where you have to have a little bit of luck in these knockout stages again it wasn’t meant to be. So yeah, obviously disappointed. But, when you go out to missing a penalty obviously it’s a loss but ultimately, we were there or thereabouts the World Cup is all about winning that Trophy. I still believe that the squad was capable of winning that major trophy.
Q. You have been a part of Kerala Blasters in ISL. How was the experience? In the current season, Blasters are placed third in the table. What do you think of their performance and their current form?
A. First of all, I look at my time now. Loved every second of it. I was there for around eight months in total. So, I was I won’t leave any more than staying at the beginning with my mate goalkeeper Paul (Rachubka), we had a fantastic time. Loved every second of the travelling. And obviously, the main thing was love, which the fans gave us. The home games were exceptional, last season they played well. Obviously, the last game where they got beaten but you can just see there’s a great spirit about the club that’s what I’ve always been for, and that that does come from within it comes from the fans.
Some of the best ones I’ve ever seen are the way they attend the games that the noise you make, and just the whole support, they give the club in general and that is, in away games as well. It was sometimes difficult to travel because India is such a big country and some of the places are really far and difficult to get to but they managed to get there and you’ve got to respect that. They are doing well this season, so hopefully, good things come from that.
Q. What’s your take on Ronaldo’s exit from Manchester United as both of you have started a Premier League career with the same club?
A. It was very sad on my behalf because you don’t want anything to end like that but ultimately it happened and Ronaldo will go down as a Manchester United Legends. One of the best if not the best player to ever play at the club.
The way it ended nobody wants that but it just wasn’t meant to be. There are different timings in people’s careers. And Ronaldo, when he looks back, you know, eventually in 5-10 years he will love his time at Man United and the games that he’s played with. But ultimately, he still wanted to play football. The manager was building a team. He’s changing a team. It would have been nice for Ronaldo to obviously stay till the end of the season, but he just wasn’t meant to be, and sometimes that can happen. I think when fans look back, they will always respect and love what Ronaldo has done for the club. Both his seasons here, his first part and the second part, I mean, scoring many goals. He was a top goal-scorer. He’s always been a goal scorer and people will always remember that.
Q. During your ISL stint, you might have discovered Indian football closely. So, what is your view on the football culture in India?
A. I always feel the sort of structure we have in England and from a young age, I played football, whether it was on the street, then getting into its team, obviously, that’s cricket in India. You see everybody playing cricket from a very young age. But ultimately the foundation is getting there or where it needs to be continuing to get better for the football quality. Lots of young children going up, playing football more often and more regularly. The facilities are getting better all the time and that is a very big and important thing with football. But, as I said, I would still say cricket is the number one sport in India, and I think it always will be, but the facilities are now starting to come to support football and get youngsters playing at an early age, which is very important.
Q. What are your current plans?
A. I am very lucky in a sense, I’m Manchester-born and played for Man United, so I still live in the same area. I’m very lucky to still work at United. You’re not doing quite a lot of different things. I do a lot of ambassador roles; I help out with the Manchester United Foundation. There are not many ex-players that live pretty close. So, I keep busy doing all sorts of different things for the club, and sometimes the media side as well really enjoyed it. So, it’s really good to be in this position.
Brown is bringing to life exclusive Manchester United experiences available to members of Marriott Bonvoy, on its experiential platform Marriott Bonvoy Moments. Marriott Bonvoy is the Club’s official hotel loyalty partner.