Portuguese international footballer Cristiano Ronaldo spoke out yesterday about feeling "betrayed" at Manchester United, revealing that "some people" did not want him in the team this season but also the season before.
"I don't know if I should say this, but I don't care. People should hear the truth: yes, I felt betrayed, and I felt that some people didn't want me here, not only this season but also last season," he said in an advance of an exclusive interview with Piers Morgan, which is to be broadcast on English television on Wednesday.
According to the 37-year-old, "it's not just the manager", Erik ten Hag, who didn't want him in the squad, but also "two or three at the club", later clarifying that he was referring to administrators.
Ronaldo missed the last two games of the 'red devils', and now prepares to travel to Qatar with the Portuguese team prior to the World Cup 2022. In all, he has 16 games and three goals for the English club this season, whereas in 2021/22, in his return season to Manchester, he managed 24 goals in 38 matches.
In the long interview, he declared that he has no respect for the manager, as he considers that the latter does not respect him. "I have no respect because he doesn't respect me. If you don't respect me, I will never respect you," he said.
The lack of improvements in facilities and technological advances are other faults found by the forward were also revealed. "I don't see any evolution in the club since Alex Ferguson left, the progression is zero. The gym, the swimming pool... have been frozen in time, which surprised me a lot", he lamented.
The criticism extended to Ralf Rangnick, one of three coaches he encountered in this second spell in Manchester. "If you are not even a coach, how can you be the leader of Manchester United? I've never heard of him before," he declared.
Ronaldo also complains of a "lack of empathy" towards him when he lost one of his children, with only one of the twins being born, and that the club try to paint him as "the black sheep" of the squad.
Who 'escapes' the criticism are the English fans. "They are the most important thing in football, and you play for them. They are always on my side; they are everything to me. So, I gave this interview, it's the right time to say what I think," he added.
This has been a 'troubled' season for the Madeiran 'star', who has returned to United, where he first played between 2003 and 2009, after spells at Real Madrid (2009-2018) and Juventus (2018-2021), having started his career at Sporting.
In the summer, his possible departure from the club was the main topic of discussion in the transfer market and, when it did not materialise, he promised he would give an interview to clarify the matter.
Since then, his performance on the pitch has been intermittent, between starting, benching and missing out on the squad, as well as when he was removed from first team training for leaving a game still in progress, having refused to be used as a substitute.
With 191 senior caps for Portugal, and 117 goals, he adds 145 for Manchester United in 346 appearances, 451 for Real Madrid in 'only' 438 matches and five for Sporting in 31 games.