Cristiano Ronaldo interview: Manchester United star questions future at the club and reveals he felt 'provoked' by Erik ten Hag

by 24britishtvNov. 17, 2022, 9 p.m. 14
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Cristiano Ronaldo has accused Manchester United of "cutting his legs" and "not wanting him to shine" in the final excerpt of his explosive interview with Piers Morgan on TalkTV.

Ronaldo also said he believes manager Erik ten Hag "does not respect" him in the way he "deserves", while claiming there were a "few clubs" who were interested in his services during the summer transfer window.

The 37-year-old revealed he plans to carry on his playing career until the age of 40, but does not know which club he will be representing beyond the World Cup in Qatar.

He went on to accept "regret" for the manner in which he departed Old Trafford early after refusing to come on as a substitute when Man Utd beat Tottenham in October, but subsequently said the punishment he faced was too harsh.
• Neville: No way back for Ronaldo at Man Utd but I'm not against him

In clips previously aired this week from the same interview, Ronaldo disclosed he was "close" to moving to Manchester City last summer, before Sir Alex Ferguson intervened, and was particularly critical of the Ralf Rangnick era as well as the club's crop of young players.

Read the best bits from part two of the interview below.

Asked if he will still be a Manchester United player come January 1:

"It's difficult to tell right now, because my mood is right now on the World Cup.

"When I arrived at Manchester United, I always [wanted to] be available to help the team do the good things, to put in the right spots, to compete with the best teams.

"But it's hard when they cut your legs and they don't like you to shine and they don't listen to your advice.

"I think I have words to advise to the club because the trophies are one individual and collective. I think I can help a lot, but when the infrastructure is not good…"

Speaking about his relationship with manager Erik ten Hag:

"I understand that in a new job [you try to make an impression.] Manchester was so bad in the last five years that they should clean the house, let's say it in that way.

"But the way they approach, the way the press make this so big. I really understand in the beginning because I didn't do the pre-season, I don't start to play, but going more further than that.

"Other things happen that people, they don't know. And I'm not hiding that the empathy with the coach is not good. I'm honest."

He added: "He don't respect [me] the way I deserve. But it is what it is. This is why probably, the game against Tottenham, I left."

On refusing to come on as a substitute against Tottenham in October:

"I will be honest with you, it's something that I regret, leaving the stadium [against Tottenham].

"It's difficult to tell you 100 per cent but let's say I regret. But in the same way I felt provoked by the coach. A coach to put me in (for) three minutes in a game.

"Sorry, I'm not that kind of player. I know what I can give to the team."

He added: "Me and eight players [left], but they mentioned only my name. Last year, many players did the same. In that game, eight players do the same but they only speak about the black sheep, which is me.

"I completely understand, okay, it's done, I apologise to the coach and for me, the chapter was closed."

"Don't tell me that the top players, the guys who want everything, the key players will play three minutes. Come on, this is unacceptable.

"After what they keep saying before, that they respect me. For me it was not respect, this is why I take this decision I regret.

"I apologised to my team-mates for the situation, I did a post - I regret leaving the stadium. I regret my team-mates know what I felt, and I apologised.

"The coach didn't have respect for me. So this is why the relationship, it's in that way. He keeps saying in the press that he come to me, he like me blah, blah, blah. But that's only for the press. One hundred per cent.

"If you don't have respect for me, I'm never going to have respect for you."

"They criticise me when I don't speak, of course, they're going to criticise me when I do speak - even more.

"But it's something that I can deal with. I know I'm going to be disappointing a few people. Maybe I'm going to make up a few people. But it is what it is.

"The life is completely difficult, we have obstacles in our lives. And I will keep running to fight against the people who don't believe me. I want people to know they're wrong.

"It's hard, it's hard for me to say that I will not be back to Manchester United. But regardless, as you say, it's… let's see what's going to happen."

"It's true, yes it's true…but what the press keep saying, the garbage, is that nobody wants me, which is completely wrong.

"I was happy here [at Manchester United] to be honest - I was motivated to do a great season here. But they [the press] continue to repeat that nobody wants Cristiano.

"How they don't want a player who scored 32 goals last year, [including] national team?"

"Manchester first, and if not, Arsenal is a team that I like to see play.

"I like the team. I like the coach. I think they have a good team. And if Manchester United don't win the Premier League, I will be happy if Arsenal do."

'Ferguson always on my side'

Speaking about support from former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson:

"I don't speak with him [since] one month ago, but he's always on my side. He always understands me. He knows that, he knows better than anybody that the club is not on the path they deserve to be. Everyone knows.

"The people who don't see that is because they don't want to see. The fans, they are always the answer, and the passion for the game. Manchester belongs to the fans, but they should know the truth. The infrastructure, they are not good. They should change."

"Amazing player is magic, top… As a person, we share the stage [for] 16 years, imagine, 16 years. So, I have great relationship with him.

"I'm not [a] friend of him in terms of, a friend is the guy who was with you in your house, speaking on the phone, no, but it's like a team-mate. He's a guy that I really respect the way he always speak about me."

'I want to play until 40'

On the longevity of his career and whether he could still play top-flight football at 37-years-old:

"I want to play two years more, three years more. So two or three years maximum. I want to finish [at] 40. I think 40 will be a good age.

"But I don't know, I don't know the future. Sometimes you plan one thing for your life and as I told many times, life is dynamic. You never know what's going to happen."

Piers Morgan Uncensored: 90 Minutes with Ronaldo was on TalkTV on Wednesday and Thursday evening.

Neville: No way back for Ronaldo

Sky Sports' Gary Neville says there is "no way back" for Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United after his explosive criticism of the club and manager Erik ten Hag, but insists he is not against his former team-mate.

Neville, who was himself criticised by Ronaldo during his interview with Piers Morgan on TalkTV, has told Sky Sports he cannot see the Portugal forward playing for the club again.

"No, and l don't think he wants a way back," Neville said. "He wouldn't have done this interview if he wanted a way back. He knew it would bring the headlines it has and be the end of his Manchester United career."

Manchester United have not yet indicated what action they may take following Ronaldo's interview.

Neville added: "I'm wondering what Man Utd are doing because the reality of it is they know they have to terminate Cristiano's contract or they basically open up a precedent so any player can criticise them in the future."

Asked for his thoughts and whether he was against Ronaldo, Neville replied: "It's not true, what he said, but all's fair in love and war.

"I live in the game of criticism and know I have to accept it, and I get plenty of it back. I love all my team-mates I played with, including Cristiano.

"I'm not against Ronaldo - far from it. I couldn't have any more admiration for him, I couldn't have any more respect for him. He's the greatest player I've ever seen and he's the most talented player I ever played with."

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