Jamie Carragher has claimed Cristiano Ronaldo would not feature in a Manchester United and Liverpool combined XI, and believes Jurgen Klopp would not pick him right now.
The 36-year-old star has scored five goals in seven matches across all competitions for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men this season following his sensational return to Old Trafford in the summer.
The Portugal international will come up against Liverpool for the 13th time in his career on Sunday when Klopp’s men travel to Old Trafford, but will go into the game having failed to score in his last three Premier League outings.
Jamie Carragher (left) insists Cristiano Ronaldo (right) would not get into a Manchester United and Liverpool combined XI right now
The former Reds centre back chose Mason Greenwood ahead of the Portugal international
And former Liverpool defender Carragher insists he would currently pick ‘superstar’ Mason Greenwood – who scored a stunning goal at Leicester to take his tally this season to four having netted 12 goals last term – ahead of Ronaldo.
‘I’m a massive Greenwood fan, I think he’s a superstar, I really do,’ Carragher told Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football.
‘How can you not put Ronaldo in, in terms of what he’s done, legendary figure? I’m talking about actually right now, today, I’d have to have Greenwood.
‘[Roberto] Firmino got a hat-trick for Liverpool at the weekend and has done really well but going back last season, and this season Greenwood is a superstar and I had to find a place for him in there.’
Carragher described Greenwood – who scored a stunner at the weekend – as a ‘superstar’
The former Reds centre-back believes Jurgen Klopp (right) would not select Ronaldo right now
When later asked by presenter David Jones if Ronaldo would get in the Liverpool team, Carragher simply replied: ‘No’.
When Jones asked Carragher’s fellow pundit Gary Neville – who included Ronaldo in a combined XI which also saw him select nine Liverpool players – if he agreed, the former Manchester United right-back said, after several seconds of silence: ‘Obviously I disagree with that.’
Carragher then responded: ‘No, I don’t think Jurgen Klopp would pick Ronaldo if he was picking what we’re picking now.
‘That’s the headline for the weekend, isn’t it! He’s going to get the winner now.’
In his initial response to Carragher excluding Ronaldo, Neville – who also selected Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah in attack – said: ‘It wasn’t easy but just the idea he’s one of the greatest goalscorers of all time, and with Salah and Mane I thought he should be up front.
Gary Neville however disagreed and included the 36-year-old in his own combined XI
Neville however selected nine Liverpool players in his XI ahead of Sunday’s showdown
‘You would have him up front. In that team, with Fabinho and [Jordan] Henderson behind, with Firmino behind and those two out wide he would be absolutely devastating.’
Carragher meanwhile also lavished praise on Liverpool centre-back Joel Matip, who has played the full 90 minutes in all but one of their eight Premier League fixtures this season.
The ex-England international believes the 30-year-old has been better than fellow defender and team-mate Virgil van Dijk this season, and therefore opted for the Cameroonian ahead of United counterpart Harry Maguire.
‘Possibly in the last 12 months or even further you could have Maguire in there [next to Virgil van Dijk],’ Carragher added.
‘I’m a huge Harry Maguire fan, he’s a really good player, it’s got nothing to do with his performance at the weekend [at Leicester] – but I actually think Matip has possibly been better than Virgil van Dijk this season.
‘He’s a player that goes under the radar because he’s not a huge name, he came in on a free transfer, he’s been there a long time under Jurgen Klopp, he’s had injury problems.
‘But every time he plays he’s top class, he really is and that partnership with Virgil van Dijk is really good at the minute, it is.
‘The performances he’s given, certainly in the last 18 months, he was the centre-back who played in the Champions League final for Liverpool.
‘He’s played in so many big games, this season he’s almost been an ever-present, he’s been fantastic.’