Cristiano Ronaldo claims that Manchester United has betrayed him and that they are attempting to force him out of the club.
In a 90-minute interview extract that was made available on the Piers Morgan Uncensored Twitter feed, the Portugal striker said that the team’s manager Erik ten Hag, and other individuals wanted him to leave Old Trafford.
When asked by Morgan if United’s management was trying to get rid of him, Ronaldo, 37, responded: “Yes, not only the coach but another two or three guys around the club. I feel betrayed.”
According to the Portuguese, this situation is not a new development. “Maybe I shouldn’t say it, but people have to know the truth. I have felt betrayed. I have felt that some people don’t want me here. Not just this year, last year too.”
Lashing out at his critics
Cristiano addresses his critics directly in the interview as well. Former Red Devils player Wayne Rooney is one of the difficult ones.
“I don’t know why he criticizes me so much,” Ronaldo said. “Probably because he finished his career and I’m still playing at a high level. I’m not going to say I look better than him, which is true…”
When asked by Morgan about current United manager Ten Hag, Ronaldo responded: “I don’t have respect for him because he doesn’t show respect for me. If you don’t have respect for me, I’m never gonna have respect for you.”
Last month, Ten Hag banned him from first-team training and excluded him from the draw against Chelsea as punishment for refusing to come on as a substitute in the game against Tottenham and walking down the tunnel before the end of the game.
The following Premier League games against West Ham and Aston Villa saw him play after returning to the team, though he was not included in the matchday squad for the match against Fulham on Sunday.
Ronaldo further asserted during the interview that United had not progressed as a team since Sir Alex Ferguson left in 2013.
“I don’t know what is going on but since Sir Alex Ferguson left I saw no evolution in the club, the progress was zero.
“For example, we have an interesting point that how the club as Manchester United after (they) sack Ole (Gunnar Solskjaer), they buy – they bring (in), sports director Ralf Rangnick, which is something that nobody understands.
“This guy is not even a coach. A bigger club like Manchester United brings (a) sports director – surprised not only me but all the world, you know.
“Nothing changed. Surprisingly. Not only the pool, the jacuzzi, even the gym … Even some points, the technology, the kitchen, the chefs, which is, I appreciate, lovely persons.
“They stopped in a time, which surprised me a lot. I thought I will see different things … different, as I mentioned before, technology, infrastructure. But unfortunately, we see many things that I used to see when I was 20, 21, 23. So, it surprised me a lot,” Ronaldo said.
On his re-joining Manchester United
Ronaldo, who re-joined United in August 2021 and finished as the club’s leading scorer in all competitions last season with 24 goals, also discussed how former manager Ferguson convinced him to return to the club last summer.
“I followed my heart,” the five-time Ballon d’Or winner said. “He [Sir Alex] said to me, ‘It’s impossible for you to come to Manchester City’, and I said, ‘OK, boss’.”
Asked what Ferguson thinks of United’s current situation, Ronaldo added: “He knows better than anybody that the club is not on the path they deserve to be.
“He knows. Everyone knows. The people who don’t see that… it’s because they don’t want to see; they are blind.”
Message to the supporters
Cristiano, however, also passionately expressed his love for the Reds supporters. “They are the most important thing in soccer, you play for them. They are always on my side. For me they are everything. That’s why I’m giving this interview because it’s the right time to say what I think.”
Ten Hag and United Players ‘disappointed’
The timing and style of Ronaldo’s explosive interview with Piers Morgan reportedly left Ten Hag and the Manchester United players highly disappointed.
According to Sky Sports News, the club only found out about the interview as they were preparing to fly back from London on Sunday evening following their 2-1 win over Fulham and they do not understand why he has said what he has said.
They are hugely disappointed that he would disrespect the club, his manager, and his teammates in this way and United are likely to consider all their options now regarding the player.
The interview will be aired in its entirety on Wednesday and Thursday as United will no doubt be preparing for more fallout.