Portugal and Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo revealed he feels “betrayed” by the Premier League club and has “no respect” for Coach Erik ten Hag, in a ventilated Sunday night interview with Piers Morgan.
Set to captain in the upcoming Qatar World Cup for Portugal, Ronaldo finally spoke about his treatment at Man Utd after months of circulating claims of despair.
Erik ten Hag
“I don’t have respect for him because he doesn’t show respect for me,” Ronaldo told controversial Piers Morgan about ten Hag.
“If you don’t have respect for me, I’m never gonna have respect for you,” the football legend added.
When asked if Ronaldo felt pushed out of the club, the footballer claimed that several individuals have pressured him.
“Yes, not only the coach but the other two or three guys – they’re around the club.” When pressed further, Ronaldo said: “Yes, I feel betrayed. And I felt that some people, they don’t want me here. Not only this year, but last year too,” the 37-year-old voiced.
“Since Sir Alex Ferguson left, I saw no evolution in the club. The progress was zero.”
He added: “Nothing changed. Not only the pool, the jacuzzi, even the gym. Even some points of technology. Even the kitchen, the chefs, who I appreciate, and they are lovely people, they stopped in time, which surprised me a lot.
“I thought I would have seen different things, different technology, infrastructure. But unfortunately we see many things that I used to see when I was 20, 21, 23. It surprised me a lot.”
Since returning to Man Utd after leaving in 2009, Ronaldo’s nine trophies in his first stint have seemed forgotten by the club.
Since joining, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner has been benched as he has been passed up for more youthful players.
The Portuguese star, who suffered the loss of his baby son with his partner Georgina, believes that the club was not accommodating when his daughter was hospitalised in July.
Unable to return on time for pre-season training, Ronaldo said there was no lack of “empathy” for his situation.
“I think the fans should know the truth,” he said. “I want the best for the club. This is why I come to Manchester United.”
Currently fifth in the Premier League, the former English giants have started with a losing streak at the beginning of the season.
The appearance of three managers has failed to rescue the team from reaching the bottom of the league, the first since 1992.
“If you’re not even a coach, how are you going to be the boss of Manchester United? I’d never even heard of him,” Ronaldo said about Ralf Rangnick, the former coach of the club.
Dubbed an interim coach, Rangnick left the club in May following a plunge in results and performances from the team.
After refusing to come on as a substitute against Tottenham, Ronaldo was dropped for the Premier League game at Chelsea last month.
Several footballers and fans have urged ten Hag to have more minutes on the pitch, including former Manchester United defender Mikael Silvestre.
“It will be best if Cristiano stays as he is an important figure in the dressing room. He showed he can deliver and score goals, and he is still top class. Cristiano in a good mood and in good form is a big asset for Manchester United, and he will be for the new manager [Erik ten Hag],” Silvestre said to media outlet, Lord Ping.
Speaking about former Man Utd teammate Wayne Rooney who has publicly blasted Ronaldo and urged the club to get rid of him, the Portugal footballer doesn’t understand his motives for criticisms.
“I don’t know why he criticises me so badly… probably because he finished his career, and I’m still playing at high level. I’m not going to say that I’m looking better than him. Which is true.”
It could be said that Ronaldo has played his last game for the club and will now be fixated on the World Cup.
Fans of the megastar expect he will seek revenge on the Qatar pitches to remind doubters who he still is.
Ahead of the tournament, Ronaldo will face Nigeria in a friendly on November 17 before taking on Ghana in their Group H opener on the November 24.