Cristiano Ronaldo, the Manchester United player, said that the club betrayed him and that he was forced to leave, while he does not respect coach Erik ten Hag.
Ronaldo returned to United from Juventus for a second term at Old Trafford in August 2021 on a two-year deal, returning to the club where he won eight major titles from 2003-2009.
In an interview with Piers Morgan for TalkTV, released on Sunday, Ronaldo was asked if the United hierarchy was trying to kick him out of the club.
“Yes, not just the coach (Tin Hag), but two or three other players across the club. I felt betrayed.”
“Yeah I feel betrayed, and I felt like some people didn’t want me here, not only this year, but last year as well.”
Ten Hag said last month that Ronaldo refused to play as a substitute against Tottenham Hotspur when the striker walked into the tunnel a few minutes before the match after being left on the bench.
Then he was not part of the team that faced Chelsea the following Saturday.
The 37-year-old striker, who will captain Portugal at the World Cup in Qatar, said of Ten Hag: “I don’t respect him because he shows me no respect. If you don’t respect me, I will never respect you.”
United did not immediately respond when contacted by Reuters for comment. After the Tottenham game, Ten Hag said Ronaldo remained “an important player in the team”.
Ronaldo said Manchester United did not support him when his daughter was taken to hospital in July. He said the club questioned him and showed a lack of empathy when he did not arrive on time for pre-season training.
“I think the masses should know the truth,” he said.
“I want the best for the club. That’s why I came to Manchester United.
“But you have some things on the inside that don’t help us get to the top level like City, Liverpool and even now Arsenal… The club should be that far up the tree in my opinion and they are not, unfortunately.”
Ronaldo’s first tenure was under former United boss Alex Ferguson, who retired in 2013. The Portuguese said his view of the club was shared by Ferguson.
“Progress has been zero since the departure of Sir Alex (Ferguson), I have not seen any development at the club. Nothing has changed,” Ronaldo said.
“He knows better than anyone that the club is not on the path it deserves.
“He knows. Everyone knows. The people who don’t see it… That’s because they don’t want to see, they are blind.”
Ronaldo also criticized the club’s decision last season to replace coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, his former Portuguese team-mate, Ralph Rangnick.
Rangnick left his role as Head of Sport and Development at Russian club Lokomotiv Moscow to take charge of Old Trafford.
“After the club sacked Ole, they brought in sporting director Ralph Rangnick, which no one understands,” Ronaldo said.
“This guy, he’s not even a coach. A big club like Manchester United are bringing in a sporting director who has surprised not only me but the whole world.”
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