Manchester United issue 53-word statement on controversial Cristiano Ronaldo interview

Jason Soutar
Manchester United striker Cristiano Ronaldo during a training session

Manchester United have issued a statement on Cristiano Ronaldo’s explosive interview with Piers Morgan.

Ronaldo went nuclear, slamming manager Erik ten Hag, the club’s infrastructure, Red Devils legend and former teammate Wayne Rooney, and Ralf Rangnick.

The 37-year-old said that Ten Hag and others want him out of Old Trafford, in excerpts of a 90-minute interview with Piers Morgan Uncensored, which will be broadcast this week on TalkTV.

When asked if United’s hierarchy were trying to force him out of the club, Ronaldo said: “Yes, not only the coach, but another two or three guys around the club. I felt betrayed.”

When quizzed again if senior club executives were trying to oust him, the 37-year-old said: “I don’t care. People should listen to the truth.

“Yes, I felt betrayed and I felt like some people don’t want me here, not only this year, but last year too.”

Ronaldo said he did not respect boss Ten Hag, admitting: “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 gonna have respect for you.”

And following criticism from Rooney, the Portugal captain said: 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. Which is true…”

Ronaldo also claimed United had not progressed as a club since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013.

“I don’t know what is going on, but since Sir Alex Ferguson left I saw no evolution in the club, the progress was zero,” Ronaldo said.

“For example, we have an interesting point that how the club as Manchester United, after (they) sack Ole (Gunnar Solskjaer), they buy – they bring (in), sports director Ralf Rangnick, which is something that nobody understands.

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“This guy is not even a coach. A bigger club like Manchester United brings (a) sports director – surprised not only me but all the world, you know.

“Nothing changed. Surprisingly. Not only the pool, the jacuzzi, even the gym…Even some points, the technology, the kitchen, the chefs, which is, I appreciate, lovely persons.

“They stopped in a time, which surprised me a lot. I thought I will see different things…different, as I mentioned before, technology, infrastructure.

“But, unfortunately, we see many things that I used to see when I was 20, 21, 23. So, it surprised me a lot.”

And now Manchester United have had their say on the matter – without actually really saying anything.

‘Manchester United notes the media coverage regarding an interview by Cristiano Ronaldo,’ the statement read.

‘The club will consider its response after the full facts have been established.

‘Our focus remains on preparing for the second half of the season and continuing the momentum, belief and togetherness being built among the players, manager, staff, and fans.’

Piers Morgan has now revealed that Ronaldo had some pretty nasty things to say about another ex-teammate, Gary Neville.

Neville has often stood by Ronaldo, but condemned his decision to refuse to come off the bench before walking down the tunnel prior to full-time in a game against Tottenham last month.

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