Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville has compared Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley to Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, in comments picked up by The Express.
The former Everton man endured a difficult start to life at Stamford Bridge at the back end of last season, struggling for first-team opportunities due to a mixture of injury issues and competition with those ahead of him.
However, the appointment of Maurizio Sarri has provided Barkley with a new lease of life and the England international earned a recall to Gareth Southgate’s squad for the upcoming clashes with Spain and Croatia, while he also scored his first goal for the club in Sunday’s 3-0 win over Southampton.
His work-ethic has now been praised by ex-United defender Gary Neville, who sensationally compared his pre-season efforts to Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
“I think the World Cup would have helped him. He was listening to the World Cup and every commentator, everyone talking about England, were saying we need somebody to unlock the door, somebody who can play in the final third, somebody who can do that something a little bit different.
“He will have been sat there at home thinking ‘what the hell am I doing here? How am I not in that squad?’. Actually I was over at the World Cup and saw his Instagram account in pre-season training and he looked ripped. He looked like he’d been prepared for pre-season.
“He loves his football, he’s a good lad, but has he been really serious like the really top professionals? If you think of Cristiano Ronaldo at the very top of in terms of ‘he looks after himself’.
“He’s getting to that level now, he looks a lot more serious about the game. I think he’s getting the rewards for it.”