Pep Guardiola once appeared to snub Cristiano Ronaldo handshake and got shoved by striker in El Clasico – but Man City boss still loves Manchester Uni


Pep Guardiola will have earned the affection of Manchester City fans after appearing to snub Cristiano Ronaldo’s handshake back in 2013. But despite the seemingly icy exchange at the Ballon d’Or almost ten years ago, the City boss is actually a big fan of the Manchester United star his side may be facing this weekend. Ronaldo is one of the best footballers in the sport’s historyAFP Even rival Pep Guardiola is an admirerMartin Rickett/PA Wire The 188th Manchester derby at the Etihad this Sunday will see Man City aim to keep hold of the bragging rights and go top of the table. Meanwhile, Man United head into the tie off the back of four Premier League wins in a row. Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag will need to assess whether to not to include club legend Ronaldo in his plans for his first Manchester derby, though, with the Portuguese star falling out of favour and form for club and country. But it won’t just be Man United fans looking out for Ronaldo‘s name on Sunday. The Ballon d’Or handshake snub probably led many to believe Guardiola wasn’t a fan of the star that made his name with City and Barcelona’s rivals. Since then, though, the Spaniard has complimented him on numerous occasions, and it was only last summer that it was rumoured that Ronaldo was to become a City player. Most read in Football BANNED Jockey apologises after 60-day ban for 'terrible mistake' as rival elbowed off horse view Pearce proposes north London derby be played in the United States Gone Why Maradona and other legendary names like Guardiola and Deco are not in FIFA 23 BLAST Man United stars 'took the p***' as Scholes slams Ronaldo, Varane and Sancho deals regret? Palace love Chelsea midfielders but Gallagher should've taken warning from loanee joker Haaland in hysterics after Manchester derby day promo message with Neville Ronaldo loved scoring against City in his first stint at Old Trafford, but is yet to do it since his returnGetty The suspected snub Before returning to Old Trafford last summer, Ronaldo hadn’t been around in England for Guardiola’s reign at the Etihad, ending his first stint in Manchester in 2009 when he signed for Real Madrid. Naturally, City fans didn’t warm to the then-rising Portuguese star during his first spell in England, and he five goals against them in the Manchester derbies. Guardiola and Ronaldo have been facing off since they first met in the Champions League final in 2009, in which Barca beat Man United. The pair have had a tasty historygetty Ronaldo even sparked a heated melee during his time at Real Madrid in their 5-0 loss at the Camp Nou in 2010, shoving Guardiola on the touchline as he went to claim the ball for a throw-in. Then, at the Ballon d’Or ceremony in 2013, the pair had another run in. The Spaniard had just left his role with Real Madrid’s rivals Barca and become manager of Bayern Munich. And he appeared to snub Ronaldo’s handshake as the star went up to collect his second Ballon d’Or award, staring blankly while CR7 appeared to reach out his hand. Ronaldo looked as if he was trying to get Guardiola’s attention as he walked pastyoutube And Guardiola locked eyes with himyoutube But decided not to acknowledge him or what looked like Ronaldo’s outstretched handyoutube Not so secret admirer However, there’s been many occasions since then that would suggest Guardiola and Ronaldo’s relationship has taken a completely different direction. “We don’t have a single player who can win a game. We don’t have a Cristiano, [Lionel] Messi, a Neymar,” the manager stated at the beginning of his City career, letting his feelings on Ronaldo be known. Then, Guardiola dropped in another compliment for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner following his move £88million move from Real Madrid to Juventus, saying: “Ronaldo, like Messi, is a guy who scores 50 or 60 goals a season.   “Any team can suffer a little bit if they leave.” Ronaldo joined Juventus in the summer of 2018 after nine years in Madrid, and Guardiola sung his praises after securing the moveGetty It was only last summer that it appeared a deal had been all but done between Ronaldo and Manchester City, with reports suggesting he was going to join Guardiola’s side following the end of his contract at Juventus. It wasn’t meant to be in the end, though, as Man United swooped in with the help of Sir Alex Ferguson to ensure Ronaldo kept his legendary status on the red side of Manchester. But Guardiola’s affection for the footballing icon carried on after the reported deal fell through. Speaking before the first Manchester derby since Ronaldo’s return, Guardiola said: “I didn’t see the United match [against Atalanta]. Ronaldo has scored just one goal for Man United this season, but will be hoping to get on the scoresheet against GuardiolaAFP “I’m going to analyse and to see what they are so I know how good they are. We saw it last season. They have one of the best players in history, a guy [Ronaldo] who can be a scoring machine.” Then, ahead of the reverse fixture in March that saw City win 4-1, he complimented him again. “He has been one of the greatest in the last 15 years alongside Messi,” he said. “What these two guys have done, we aren’t going to see it again. When you achieve these things you’re under scrutiny every day of your life. “Today especially with social media you are under more scrutiny. He was too good and as a finisher exceptional top player. It was a joy to watch in these years.” So, perhaps, they are friends after all. OFFER OF THE DAY Bet365: Bet £10 Get £50 In Free Bets – CLAIM HERE Open account offer. Bet £10 & Get £50 in Free Bets for new customers at bet365. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply 18+