Cristiano Ronaldo certainly likes to be the center of attention.
Following an interview with Piers Morgan, it looks like he got his wish.
The Portuguese star opened about his second spell with Manchester United and he did not hold back, saying he felt “betrayed” by the club.
He also went in on manager Erik ten Hag.
“I don’t have respect for him because he doesn’t show respect for me,” Ronaldo said. “If you don’t have respect for me, I’m never going to have respect for you.”
Ronaldo recently returned to the team after he was separated for refusing to come on as substitute late in the match against Tottenham and subsequently leaving early. It was the second time Ronaldo has decided to leave a game before the final whistle.
With regards to feeling a sense of betrayal, Ronaldo attributes that to Ten Hag and certain other people inside the club trying to force him out.
“Not only the manager, but the other two or three guys who are around the club,” Ronaldo said. “I felt betrayed. I don’t care, people should listen to the truth. Yes, I felt betrayed. I feel that some people didn’t want me here, not only this year but last year too.”
Whether or not Ten Hag or some other people at the club don’t want Ronaldo is up for debate. What isn’t is the fact Ronaldo was the one looking for a move away after United failed to qualify for the Champions League.
He saw the Europa League as beneath him and Jorge Mendes, his agent, was searching far and low for a side in the Champions League to swoop in and sign Ronaldo. Every team linked to Ronaldo came out and said they were not interested in signing the aging star.
Judging by his latest comments, he appears to be the one who doesn’t want to be at Manchester United. All his antics certainly point to that.
Manchester United released a statement responding to his comments:
“The club will consider its response after the full facts have been established. Our focus remains on preparing for the second half of the season and continuing the momentum, belief and togetherness being built among the players, manager, staff, and fans.”
The timing of this interview was no accident either. With the World Cup break, he knew there would be no repercussions until he got back. Potentially forcing United hands in trying to get rid of him in the winter, he’s going to try to use the World Cup to increase his stock and convince a team playing in the Champions League to sign him.
Despite what he’s been saying publicly, it’s evident Ten Hag, and Manchester United, would be better off without Ronaldo. They look a better side when he’s not in it. But because he’s considered a club legend, they have to walk on eggshells and be careful of what they say.
The silver lining with his latest outburst is they can get rid of him without having to worry about potential backlash from supporters.
A sequel is ever rarely as good as the original. Both Manchester United and Cristiano Ronaldo have found that out firsthand.