Cristiano Ronaldo gave agent Jorge Mendes a ‘final ultimatum’ after his controversial interview with Piers Morgan led to his Manchester United exit, according to reports.
The Portugal international agreed with Man Utd to terminate his contract in November after he criticised the club, Erik ten Hag, former players, senior executives and more in the bombshell interview with Morgan.
Ronaldo struggled to find a top European club that was willing to take a chance on him after he became a disruptive figure at Old Trafford, distracting from United’s performances on the pitch.
He eventually found a new club at the end of December with Ronaldo agreeing to join Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr in a €200m deal.
Ronaldo had thought his appearance at the World Cup would persuade top clubs to put in offers for his services on a free transfer – but his only goal came against Ghana from the penalty spot before more drama saw him dropped to the bench for their last-16 clash against Switzerland.
The 37-year-old split with Mendes last year with his interview with Morgan leading to the demise of their longstanding relationship.
And now Spanish newspaper El Mundo claims that the ‘great football divorce’ happened after Ronaldo delivered a ‘final ultimatum’ to Mendes in which he told his former agent ‘either you get me Chelsea or Bayern, or we break up’.
That command from Ronaldo came ‘after Jorge Mendes expressed to Cristiano his disagreement with many of his decisions in recent years, the first being to leave Real Madrid’.
El Mundo added:
‘What broke was not a simple contract, as Mendes never asked his players to sign it, what broke was much more: a paternal, family and even business relationship.
‘The agent is godfather of one of the player’s children and Ronaldo’s mother [Dona Dolores] has often shown the adoration she had for Jorge Mendes.’
Al-Nassr won their first competitive match with Ronaldo in the side in a 1-0 victory over Saudi rivals Al-Ettifaq but their manager Rudi Garcia insisted they don’t need to change the way they play to get the most out of the Portuguese striker.
“It’s very important for the players to play normally and not always try to give the ball to Cristiano,” Garcia said after the match.
“I told them they need to make the right choices on the pitch. Obviously when Cristiano or Talisca are alone and asking for the ball we need to give them the ball. These two players are able to make the difference.
“Tonight, I think that sometimes we had good positions to cross but not enough people in the box, and sometimes no Ronaldo and no Talisca.
“We need to work on that, to have one of them in the box and maybe the other playing outside the box.”
READ MORE: Five Man Utd players in need of an upgrade features De Gea and Maguire