Cristiano Ronaldo may have burnt his bridges at Manchester United once and for all after giving an explosive interview in which he hit out at the club and claimed he would ‘never respect’ Erik ten Hag.
The 37-year-old was axed by his manager and made to train with the youth team – as well as being fined two weeks’ wages – after refusing to come on as a late substitute against Tottenham last month, instead storming down the tunnel before full-time.
Ronaldo appeared to have been reintegrated back into the team after Ten Hag drew a line under the incident, but the Portuguese superstar has now reignited the drama by slamming the Dutch coach as well as hitting out at the club.
Asked about Ten Hag, Ronaldo told Piers Morgan Uncensored on Sunday night: ‘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.’
Asked if he felt Ten Hag had tried to force him out, he replied: ‘Yes, not only the coach but another two or three guys that are around the club [at senior executive level]. I felt betrayed.’
Probed on whether he feels they are actively trying to get rid of him, he continued: ‘Honestly, I shouldn’t say that, I don’t know, but I don’t care, always people should listen to the truth. Yes, I feel betrayed.
‘And I felt that some people they don’t want me here. Not only this year but last year too.’
Ronaldo also revealed in the interview that his three-month-old daughter was hospitalised in July, which meant he could not return for pre-season training with United.
“I feel betrayed.”
EXCLUSIVE: Cristiano Ronaldo tells Piers Morgan he feels like he’s being forced out of Manchester United in an explosive interview.
— Piers Morgan Uncensored (@PiersUncensored) November 13, 2022
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was absent from the club’s tour of Thailand and Australia and says when he informed United that he had to stay in Portugal they doubted his explanation, which made him feel ‘hurt’ and ‘bad’.
Ronaldo also took aim at the current state of the club and feels United are someway adrift of reigning Premier League champions Manchester City and Liverpool, as well as current table toppers Arsenal, and has suggested he has been made a ‘black sheep’ who is blamed for everything that has gone wrong.
He continued: ‘I think the fans should know the truth. I want the best for the club. This is why I came to Manchester United.
‘But you have some things inside that don’t help [us] reach the top level as City, Liverpool and even now Arsenal… a club with this dimension should be top of the tree in my opinion and they are not unfortunately.’
He added: ‘As Picasso said, you have to destroy it to rebuild it and if they start with me, for me, it’s not a problem.
‘I love Manchester United, I love the fans, they’re always on my side. But if they want to do it different… they have to change many, many things.’