‘I feel betrayed:’ Ronaldo slams Man United, Erik ten Hag originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The Cristiano Ronaldo situation at Manchester United might finally be at the point of no return.
Just hours after Man United defeated Fulham on Sunday in their final game before the 2022 World Cup break — one that Ronaldo was not present for due to illness — parts of a scathing interview featuring the 37-year-old soccer superstar were released.
In a sitdown with Piers Morgan, Ronaldo said he feels “betrayed” by United and that he doesn’t have any respect for manager Erik ten Hag. The full interview is set to be released later this week.
This is just the latest twist in a saga between United and one of their greatest players in club history.
It was unclear if Ronaldo would even be a United player for the 2022-23 campaign. There were reports over the summer that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner wanted a move away from Old Trafford to play Champions League soccer.
Ronaldo, however, claims his feeling of betrayal comes from ten Hag, who is in his first season at United following a successful run at Ajax, and other people around the club trying to force him out the door.
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“Not only the coach but the other two or three guys there around the club,” Ronaldo said when asked if United is trying to force him out.
When Morgan followed up about whether United was trying to get rid of Ronaldo, he replied: “Honestly I should not say that. I don’t know. I don’t care. People should always listen to the truth. Yes, I feel betrayed and I felt that some people don’t want me here. Not only this year but last year too.”
Ronaldo’s comments come just weeks after he refused to come on as a substitute and left the pitch before the final whistle of United’s 2-0 win over Tottenham at Old Trafford on Oct. 19. Ronaldo, who started just two of 12 Premier League games to that point, was suspended one game by ten Hag for his actions.
“I don’t have respect for Erik ten Hag because he doesn’t show respect for me,” Ronaldo said. “If you don’t have respect for me, I will never have any for you.”
Ronaldo’s return to United has been a major disappointment overall. The Red Devils had hopes of challenging for the Premier League title when they swooped in to sign Ronaldo — and prevent him from joining Manchester City — late in the 2021 summer transfer window.
But, in a season that saw manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær get fired and the appointment of Ralf Rangnick as interim manager flop, United was bounced in the Champions League Round of 16 and finished sixth in the league table. Ronaldo said he had “never heard of” Rangnick before he came over from Lokomotiv Moscow as head of sports and development.
In addition to criticizing the Rangnick hiring, Ronaldo also called out the club for a lack of progress since Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure in 2013.
“I don’t know what’s going on but since Sir Alex Ferguson left I saw no evolution in the club,” Ronaldo said. “The progress was zero.
“… Unfortunately we see many things that I used to see when I was 20, 21, 23. So it surprised me a lot.”
While Ronaldo is still under contract for seven more months, it’d be stunning if he puts on the United shirt again.
Ronaldo is one of the headliners of the Portugal squad for the World Cup in Qatar beginning Nov. 20. The winter transfer window opens on Jan. 1, 13 days after the World Cup Final, if United try to sell the club icon.