Cristiano Ronaldo claims he was “betrayed” by Manchester United and believes they were trying to kick him out of the club.
In an excerpt from a 90-minute interview posted on the Piers Morgan Uncensored Twitter stream, the Portuguese forward said head coach Erik ten Hag and others wanted to kick him out of Old Trafford.
When asked by Morgan if United’s hierarchy had forced him out of the club, Ronaldo, 37, said: “Yeah, not just the coach, but two or three others around the club. I felt betrayed.”
When asked again if top club managers tried to sack him, Ronaldo said: “I don’t care. People should listen to the facts.
“Yes, I felt betrayed and felt that some people didn’t want me here, not just this year but last year as well.”
The striker was fired from first-team training by Ten Hag last month and was handed a draw at Chelsea as punishment for refusing to go up against Tottenham and walking in the tunnel before the game was over.
He returned to the pitch and scored his third goal in a 3-0 Europa League win over Sheriff and played against West Ham and Aston Villa in subsequent Premier League games, but was not included in the matchday squad for Sunday’s game. against Fulham.
When Morgan asked Ronaldo about current United boss Ten Hag, the Portuguese replied, “I don’t respect him because he doesn’t respect me. If you don’t respect me, I’ll never respect you either.”
Ronaldo has also been “deflatingly condescending” over the criticism that former United teammate Wayne Rooney has received for refusing to replace United in a recent match against Tottenham.
Ronaldo said, “I don’t know why you criticize me so badly… it’s probably because he’s finished his career and I’m still playing at a high level. I won’t say I look better than him. Which is true…”
In other clips of the interview broadcast by TalkTV, Ronaldo claimed that United had not progressed as a club since Sir Alex Ferguson left in 2013.
“I don’t know what’s going on, but since Sir Alex Ferguson left, I haven’t seen any improvement at the club, progress has been zero,” Ronaldo said.
“For example, we have an interesting point as Manchester United that after the club fired Ole (Gunnar Solskjaer), they bought it – they brought in sporting director Ralf Rangnick, which is something nobody understands.
“This guy isn’t even a manager. A bigger club like Manchester United is bringing in (a) sports director – he surprised not only me but the whole world, you know.
“Nothing has changed. Surprisingly. Not just the pool, the jacuzzi, even the gym… Even some points, technology, kitchen, chefs, which I appreciate, lovely people.
“They stopped at a time that surprised me. I thought I would see different things… different, as I mentioned earlier, technology, infrastructure. But unfortunately we see a lot of things that I saw when I was 20, 21, 23 years old. So it surprised me a lot.”