Cristiano Ronaldo has dropped a bombshell interview just hours after Manchester United’s final match before the World Cup, discussing his deep disappointment and unhappiness with his treatment at the club.

United beat Fulham 2-1 on Sunday afternoon, but attention quickly switched to Ronaldo’s television interview with British journalist Piers Morgan, which will be broadcast later this week. The programme surely spells the end of Ronaldo’s second stint at the club.

The Portugal captain was absent for United’s trip to Craven Cottage, where a stoppage-time goal by Alejandro Garnacho secured the points. Ronaldo had also missed the midweek League Cup win over Aston Villa, and his comments about the club and particularly manager Erik ten Hag make another reconciliation unlikely.

Asked by Morgan if he feels the club want him to leave, Ronaldo replied: “Yes, not only the coach but the other two or three guys there around the club. I felt betrayed. Trying to get rid of me? Honestly, I shouldn’t say that, but 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.”

On Ten Hag, who has already disciplined Ronaldo for refusing to enter the pitch as a late substitute against Tottenham Hotspur last month, the Seleção man said: “I don’t have respect for him because he doesn’t show respect for me. If you don’t have respect for me, I’m never going to have respect for you.”

Former United teammate Wayne Rooney was also discussed in the interview, after Rooney had suggested the Red Devils play better without the Portuguese. “I don’t know why he criticises me so badly. Probably because he finished his career and I’m still playing at a high level. I’m not going to say that I’m looking better than him [chuckles] which is true.”

Perhaps most interestingly, Ronaldo suggests the club he returned to last summer is a far cry from that which launched him to superstardom across a six-year stint between 2003-2009. Not least because those at senior board level doubted him for not attending pre-season to be with his unwell new-born daughter, who had been delivered after the passing of his son during pregnancy earlier in the year. Ronaldo told Morgan the exchanges with the club left him “hurt” over a lack of empathy.

“I don’t know what’s going on but since Sir Alex Ferguson left, I have not seen evolution in the club,” he said. “The progress was zero. For example, after a club like Manchester United sacked Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] they bring in a sporting director Ralf Rangnick, which is something nobody understands. This guy is not even a coach. A big club like Manchester United brings a sporting director. It surprised not only me but all the world.

“Nothing changed, surprisingly. Not only the pool, the jacuzzi, even the gym. Even the kitchen, the chefs, whom I appreciate – lovely people. They stopped in time. It surprised me a lot. I thought I would see different things, different technology, infrastructure. But unfortunately, we see many things that I was used to seeing when I was 21. So it surprised me a lot.”

United fans will no doubt have mixed feelings over the interview, but Ronaldo’s words of criticism about the club’s mismanagement will ring true for many. This season will likely mark ten years since Alex Ferguson led the last successful Premier League title charge, and Ronaldo believes there is much to be done to reverse the slump.

“I think the fans should know the truth. I want the best for the club. This is why I come to Manchester United. But you have some things inside that don’t help (us) reach the top level as City, Liverpool and even now Arsenal, a club with this dimension should be top of the tree in my opinion and they are not unfortunately.

“As Picasso said, you have to destroy it to rebuild it (the artist’s exact quote was: ‘Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.’) and if they start with me, for me, it’s not a problem.

"I love Manchester United, I love the fans, they’re always on my side. But if they want to do it different… they have to change many, many things.”

With Ronaldo surely unlikely to play for the club again, speculation over his future will accelerate. Early reports have suggested an agreement to terminate his contract could be reached imminently, leaving him free to sign for a new club after the World Cup.

By Sean Gillen

@SeanGillen9

Comments (97)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Cannot wait for the full interview. There should be some serious mismanagement there if they got Ronaldo who's one of the most professional players out there to have no choice but to disclose everything in an interview in order to be able to...

Cannot wait for the full interview. There should be some serious mismanagement there if they got Ronaldo who's one of the most professional players out there to have no choice but to disclose everything in an interview in order to be able to influence things.

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Samuel
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Really Ronaldo? Can't this wait till after the world Cup? NOBODY is above the Quinas. This annoys me and gives the ANTI- Ronaldo brigade full arsenal of negativity. Perfect timing Ronnie.

Robert Martins
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Oh please, what annoys me about Portuguese fans like yourself is how Ronaldo makes him self to be ‘above everything else’. The guy has worked diligently for everything his has and has more passion being Portuguese than some players on our...

Oh please, what annoys me about Portuguese fans like yourself is how Ronaldo makes him self to be ‘above everything else’. The guy has worked diligently for everything his has and has more passion being Portuguese than some players on our national team (Bruno Fernandes anyone??)

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John
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Listen man if those few words dictated what side of this argument I land on then it says more about you than me. I love futebol and I love Portugal but this is not a good time for this. You know how many reporters are going to be at this world...

Listen man if those few words dictated what side of this argument I land on then it says more about you than me. I love futebol and I love Portugal but this is not a good time for this. You know how many reporters are going to be at this world cup? Anyone that's assigned to the Portugal team is always going to go to Ronaldo first regardless but now you add this on top of it do you know how distracting this is going to be it's going to be a circus and what really irritates me is I think this was by design this has nothing to do with his legacy or is accomplishments on the field he's an absolute legend there's no doubt about that in my mind and that cannot be denied so again I'll say it again perfect timing Ronnie.

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Robert Martins
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Maybe the "anti Ronaldo brigade" have had a point all along?

Santos
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Life is gray so yeah there is some truth in that and it pains me to say it.

Robert Martins
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There is an alternative take here - this can take pressure off the squad as externally everyone puts the focus on Ronaldo's interview.

Bruno
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The most awaited interview since Lady Di, hahaha. There is a lot going wring in and around ManU since a decade now. In the long run, it might be good for the club when it is pointed out so prominently by somebody with that much media coverage and...

The most awaited interview since Lady Di, hahaha. There is a lot going wring in and around ManU since a decade now. In the long run, it might be good for the club when it is pointed out so prominently by somebody with that much media coverage and attention like Ronaldo.
Besides that... I ask myself how Bruno Fernandes and Diogo Dalot might think about the fact, that their Seleção-teammate is constantly seeking the spotlight, while the two others are pillars and main contributors in the club's sportive upturn? Until the interview will be broadcasted, it will be a topic, and after it will be broadcasted - maybe even more? Sure all involved will emphasize the fact that they deal with this professionally and that the Seleção is another thing etc. etc.... But in fact, Ronaldo is distracted, and what he is constantly doing here is distracting the team as well. Deep inside, Bruno is longing for the day when Ronaldo leaves ManU. But he will of course never admit that. Back in 2016, the major strength of Portugal NT was the 100% cohesion. It was an absolute unit. I cannot see that in the 2022 edition of the Seleção. And even though, Ronaldo might be right with a lot that he is saying - it is not constructive to come out with such an interview right before the world cup. Not when two teammates are top performers in your club. The impression remains, that it always has to be about him, him, him.

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Rolf Gerber
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I am so done with his shit.
Why before the world cup? If Santos had any balls he would also address Ronaldo. Shame.

Andre
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Do you follow club football at all? It’s telling that Man United have been on a downward spiral for a long time now. Why hasn’t any of the faculties or facilities been upgraded and updated at all? Hell, even Portuguese teams are up to date with that

John
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Sorry but training facilities at United don't excuse this pathetic spectacle.

Santos
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Such a diva . Hopefully his last tournament for Portugal. Everything has to be about him .

Bryan Cabral
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Oh please, another Portuguese fan who doesn’t like Ronaldo lmao. Makes me disgusted to share the same nationality as you

John
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Lol you are gonna be on this site all day defending your love. He is a diva a cry baby great player sure. Horrible ego glad his career is ending and ending how he wants all about him lol just in a negative way

Bryan Cabral
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He has achieved fame on his own ability and so everything has to be about C Ronaldo.

What have you achieved to date in comparison to his achievement?

Neville
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Well, someone had to do it - and I’m glad it was Ronaldo. I’ve long suspected that something rotten has been brewing at United for some time. Also I love the Anti-Ronaldo sentiments on this site too already.

Nothing new - Portuguese people love...

Well, someone had to do it - and I’m glad it was Ronaldo. I’ve long suspected that something rotten has been brewing at United for some time. Also I love the Anti-Ronaldo sentiments on this site too already.

Nothing new - Portuguese people love to criticize their own. Just remember folks - without Ronaldo during the ‘dark days’ of the selecao (especially during key games vs Sweden for example), the NT would be a joke. We would rue for that day where an absolute competitive freak could help and somehow bring a trophy to our prestigious country. Oh yeah, he did that not only once - but twice!

I keep seeing, reading, and hearing a bunch of nonsense online and through Portuguese media - like how no team wanted him, or how he ‘skipped’ out on preseason, how he ‘undermines’ the board. Oh please. Nothing could be further from the truth. Ronaldo was arguably the best player at United last season. Even with the ‘dead weight’ players surrounding him, the man single-handily dragged untied to the Europa League.

I really feel bad for him. I’m 30 and been following his career once I saw him at Euro 2004. He should’ve never went back to United. Should’ve went to City

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John
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Something has been rotting at United for years, ETH is arguably one of the best things to happen there over the last couple years. The fact they could not co-exist is arguably more due to CR7 than anything else... That he and Dalot left that game...

Something has been rotting at United for years, ETH is arguably one of the best things to happen there over the last couple years. The fact they could not co-exist is arguably more due to CR7 than anything else... That he and Dalot left that game early is just crazy. If you're the manager, you could stomach your mercurial superstar walking off, but when he's followed by a younger prospect its a sign that you have to drop the hammer and assert yourself in the room to protect your 3-5 year project.

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Nelson
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Is that you Katia Aveiro?

BennyFromBrooklyn
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Santos
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Been a fan of Ronaldo since 2003. But yeah, just keep putting down the one guy who really exploded in the modern era. dumbass

John
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Distractions, Distractions. If Portugal don't play a deep run this WC CR7 will get the blame for it. Merited? Maybe. Cant help but remember Euro 2008 when Scolari announced leaving to Chelsea right before start of tournament, rest is history....

Distractions, Distractions. If Portugal don't play a deep run this WC CR7 will get the blame for it. Merited? Maybe. Cant help but remember Euro 2008 when Scolari announced leaving to Chelsea right before start of tournament, rest is history. Why? Just why couldn't he have waited? oh well done now lets just hope it does not effect our NT.

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Andrew Gomes
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Ten Haag is doing all the right things at the end of the day nobody wants him anymore 3 or 4 clubs publicly turned him down. And United are better without him how many minutes has he had to score what 2 goals . He should retire in mls thats his...

Ten Haag is doing all the right things at the end of the day nobody wants him anymore 3 or 4 clubs publicly turned him down. And United are better without him how many minutes has he had to score what 2 goals . He should retire in mls thats his level now

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Bryan Cabral
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Players so often sit back and say nothing when something really needs to be said and done. It could be the contract that keeps them tied down not to criticise the Club or for some reason they don't want to speak up.

Being silent is being afraid...

Players so often sit back and say nothing when something really needs to be said and done. It could be the contract that keeps them tied down not to criticise the Club or for some reason they don't want to speak up.

Being silent is being afraid of hurting another person or hurting yourself with the contract. C Ronaldo has opened a can of worms that will make a mess in everyone's lives (management) at Man United.

Silence is also deemed approval about all misdoing, not many players have done this in the past or has the courage to do it.

C Ronaldo's interview would help the die hard fans of Man United knowing what is going behind the scene.

Possibly C Ronaldo is not alone in his thinking, Everyone in the club knows what shit is going on and he could be well supported by Bruno Fernandes and other players silently.

C Ronaldo has done what is best for himself and the club, Sometimes certain situations require to speak up and say it out loud you hear yourself and you set yourself free. It was a right time for C Ronaldo to speak out before the WC, he will be free to play his best relieving him from the heavy burden he was carrying on his head to win the WC.

C Ronaldo is a legend who achieved everything in life with his sheer determination. In life, he had rough days even securing a meal.

His success was his own.

I won’t be surprised if all this was discussed with the Man United players and so Bruno Fernandes & Dalot before the interview.

So lets not be negative, support C Ronaldo to win the WC.

Note : please stop comparing C Ronaldo with other players.

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Neville
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It's a shame that a World Cup where I believe Portugal had the squad to make a big impact will be overshadowed by a giant toddler who can't understand the laws of physics or the linear nature of time.

Santos
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Yeah sure. A ‘Giant Toddler’ who put Portugal on the map.

Ronaldo has made Portugal a household name over others like Figo, Rui Costa, Pauleta and Nuno Gomes. He will always be cemented as a complete perfectionist. Sorry that turns you off lmao

John
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Ridiculous comment. Portugal has been on maps since 1143 amigo.

He may be a perfectionist but his performances have not been "perfection" for a while, which is fine, he's nearly 38 and no one should expect him to perform as if he were 28 any...

Ridiculous comment. Portugal has been on maps since 1143 amigo.

He may be a perfectionist but his performances have not been "perfection" for a while, which is fine, he's nearly 38 and no one should expect him to perform as if he were 28 any more.. except of course himself and clearly members of the Portugal management team! It has probably escaped you that football is actually a team sport and no player can win by themselves. If they could Portugal may have won a lot more than we have during the Ronaldo era but as the supporting cast were not on the same level we didn't. This however is no longer the case and my feelings are that Ronaldo is no longer Portugal's best player, in fact I think he's far from it.

As it is a team sport, the idea that Ronaldo has to play 100% of the time, must be the star player, the protagonist and the hero at all times even though based on performances this season (and I would say even last season) he doesn't deserve this status anymore. Am I saying he shouldn't be in the squad? No. I would still pick him but he doesn't look to me like he could go 90 minutes of high intensity football let alone 120 in a knockout game. If his ego wasn't so massive he would be a hell of supersub or if he starts games, bring him off after 60 minutes and let someone with legs have a go. But no. Clearly its sacrilege to even suggest he should be treated like any other player in the team.

You may have forgotten, but Portugal's biggest ever achievement came from the boot of a man named Eder. Did you see him getting selected based on gratitude?

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Santos
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lol oh Santos, you make me laugh, including your last sentence. ' but Portugal's biggest ever achievement came from the boot of a man named Eder. '

Who scored crucial goals in qualifying for the '16 tournament? Who played out of their mind...

lol oh Santos, you make me laugh, including your last sentence. ' but Portugal's biggest ever achievement came from the boot of a man named Eder. '

Who scored crucial goals in qualifying for the '16 tournament? Who played out of their mind during the Hungary game? Who scored and built up play during the Wales game to assure Portugal was in the final? Ronaldo!

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John
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Ronaldo was a very good player then. I agree with you. Nani, Quaresma, Sanches, Eder,.. take your pic of players who scored a clutch goals in that tournament. What has it got to do with his form and attitude now? Shall we call up Figo and Rui...

Ronaldo was a very good player then. I agree with you. Nani, Quaresma, Sanches, Eder,.. take your pic of players who scored a clutch goals in that tournament. What has it got to do with his form and attitude now? Shall we call up Figo and Rui Costa because they played well in tournaments for Porugal in the past? When is the cut off? Does Ronaldo plays until he's 50 if that's he wants to do?

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Santos
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Disgusting comment Portugal are much more than cr7 thats diagusting

Bryan Cabral
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Are you OK, Do you know what are you saying?

Please explain C Ronaldo's interview w.r.t your post in line with the Law of Physics or the Linear nature of time.

Stop being negative about C Ronaldo. He is what he is, achieved all by himself.

Neville
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Time waits for no man. If you can't see that his levels of performance are not as high as they used to be it's because you don't want to see it. I've said before I still think he can do a job for us, but I think his time needs to be managed for...

Time waits for no man. If you can't see that his levels of performance are not as high as they used to be it's because you don't want to see it. I've said before I still think he can do a job for us, but I think his time needs to be managed for greater effect aka supersub or come off after an hour but we all know who really calls the shots for the Selecao and that his ego does not allow him to take a backseat and let someone else have any limelight. In my opinion this is toxic situation in a team sport.

I want to see the team win and I don't care if Ronaldo is the hero or not. Believe it or not, we have other really good players who deserve a shot. He wasn't out first super star and he won't be the last.

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Santos
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Not sure why you're using the past tense in reference to the squad's potential.

The only thing more disappointing than Ronaldo doing the interview now will be if indeed a bunch of grown men can't put behind them the fact a teammate has done an...

Not sure why you're using the past tense in reference to the squad's potential.

The only thing more disappointing than Ronaldo doing the interview now will be if indeed a bunch of grown men can't put behind them the fact a teammate has done an interview, which prima facie, seems not be about the national team. These guys play week-in week-out blocking out a lot of crap written in the media about themselves. It would be surprising and disappointing if they can't play without having the interview consume them.

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Bruno
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You are correct. We have a good team. Happy now?

I'm taken it as a given we will have a disappointing world cup, which may be jumping the gun but my optimism is very low. Again, I would dearly love to be wrong.

Santos
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