Gary Neville enraged old Man Utd team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo with field tactic

Former Valencia manager Gary Neville has revealed how he left Cristiano Ronaldo fuming before a La Liga clash against Real Madrid back in 2016.

Manchester United legend Neville took his only managerial post back in 2015 with Spanish side Valencia, having been on England’s coaching team for a number of years.

Things didn’t really work out for the ex-right-back in La Liga though, as he was sacked after winning just three of 16 matches, and failing to keep a single clean sheet.

One surprise result the 45-year-old managed to pull off was a 2-2 draw at home against Real Madrid in January 2016.

Having trailed twice at the Mestalla, Neville’s men showed heart to level the scores in the dying embers of the game, and former Manchester City striker Alvaro Negredo should have won the game for Los Ches, but his effort could only find the arms of goalkeeper Keylor Navas.

However, it seems Valencia may have given themselves a little bit of an advantage in their preparations – by keeping the grass long.

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Neville claims that Ronaldo was irate with him and his groundsman for limiting their dribbling opportunities with the facilities, and the Portuguese demanded that they get the mower out.

“The 2-2 draw with Real Madrid where we almost won it late on was an incredible night,” Neville said on Sky Sports podcast Off Script.

“Rafa Benitez was Madrid manager and that was his last game before he got sacked.

“What I remember most about that game was our tactic of leaving the grass really long and we didn't water the pitch so the ball wouldn't travel as quick in the hope of slowing down Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.

“It was like a farmer's field. Cristiano came over to me before the game and said ‘it's a disgrace, cut the pitch’, I said ‘absolutely no chance’.

“There was no way he was dribbling that night.”

  • Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Gary Neville
  • La Liga
  • Manchester United FC
  • Valencia FC

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