Manchester United quietly fuming over Cristiano Ronaldo interview

Manchester United is feeling betrayed, too.

The club is furious with Cristiano Ronaldo after the soccer legend gave a scorched-earth interview on “Piers Morgan Uncensored,” ESPN.com reported. Manchester United took issue with several points that Ronaldo made — and were frustrated with the timing.

The interview is set to be broadcast this week on Britain’s TalkTV, but advance clips were released late Sunday — just hours after United’s final game before the World Cup, a 2-1 victory over Fulham. Ronaldo was left out of the squad for the second match in a row after the club said he had an undisclosed illness, although the Portugal star’s latest comments will increase speculation that he has played his final game for the club.

Man U is 8-4-2 and currently in fifth place in the EPL standings.

Ronaldo took particular aim at manager Erik ten Hag, saying he feels “betrayed” by the club and that senior figures have tried to force him out of Old Trafford. United released a statement which said, in part, “the club will consider its response after the full facts have been established.” A source told ESPN that they will leave it to ten Hag to deal with the striker.

Cristiano Ronaldo during Manchester United's game against West Ham on Oct. 30, 2022.
Cristiano Ronaldo during Manchester United’s game against West Ham on Oct. 30, 2022.
REUTERS

When asked on the program “Piers Morgan Uncensored” whether United’s hierarchy was trying to force him out of the club, Ronaldo said: “Yes, not only the coach, but another two or three guys around the club. I felt betrayed.”

When quizzed again if senior club executives were trying to oust him, the 37-year-old Portugal star said: “I don’t care. People should listen to the truth.

“Yes, I felt betrayed and I felt like some people don’t want me here, not only this year, but last year too.”

ESPN reported, though, that Ronaldo tried to find a new playing home during the recent transfer window.

Ronaldo has been in and out of United’s starting lineup this season and refused to come on as a substitute in last month’s win over Tottenham. That led to him being banished from the squad for the subsequent trip to Chelsea, although he then returned to the fold.

Ronaldo inflamed the relationship with ten Hag even further by saying: “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 going have respect for you.”

Ronaldo also claimed United had not progressed as a club since the departure of manager Alex Ferguson in 2013, and criticized the hiring of Ralf Rangnick as interim manager last season after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was fired.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag instructs Cristiano Ronaldo.
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag instructs Cristiano Ronaldo.
REUTERS
Cristiano Ronaldo during an interview with Piers Morgan.
Cristiano Ronaldo during an interview with Piers Morgan.
Piers Morgan Uncensored on YouTube

“This guy is not even a coach,” Ronaldo said of Rangnick. “A bigger club like Manchester United brings (a) sports director — surprised not only me but all the world, you know.”

— With AP


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