Underperforming Manchester United forward Christiano Ronaldo has claimed a number of individuals wanted him out of the club since he re-joined the Red Devils from Juventus last season.
In an explosive interview with Piers Morgan on Sunday, the Portuguese sensation openly said that he also lacks respect for his current club manager Erik ten Hag whom their relationship has deteriorated lately.
“Yes, I feel betrayed. Some people don’t want me here not only this year, but last year too”; on Ten Hag: “I don’t have respect for him because he doesn’t show respect for me,” Ronaldo said.
Ronaldo also said the Old Trafford’s outfit hierarchy were trying to force him out of the club: “Yes. Not only the coach, but the other two or three guys around the club. I felt betrayed.”
“Honestly, I don’t know. I don’t care. People should hear the truth. Yes, I feel betrayed. Some people don’t want me here not only this year, but last year too.”
The 37-year-old Portuguese ace claims nothing has changed at the club since the side’s most successful manager Sir Alex Ferguson left the Theatre of Dream in 2013.
“I don’t know what’s going on. Since Sir Alex Ferguson left I have seen not evolution in the club. The progress was zero.
Ronaldo has in many occasions displayed his frustrations at Manchester United, refused to come on as a substitute, walked off the bench and left before the game had finished.
“For example, an interesting point is how 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 bringing in a sporting director surprised not only me but all the world.
“Nothing changes. Not only the jacuzzi, the pool, even the gym. Even some points of technology, the kitchen, the chefs – who I appreciate, lovely people! They stop in time which surprised me a lot.
“I thought I would see different things, technology, infrastructure. Unfortunately, we see many things I’m used to seeing when I’m 21, 22, 23. It surprised me a lot.”
On Ten Hag, Ronaldo 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 gonna have respect for you.”
Ronaldo scored 24 goals for Manchester United in all competitions since arriving from Italian giants Juventus in August 2021. He asked to leave the club in the summer but was not offloaded.
“I think the fans should know the truth,” the Portugal international added. “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.”
In the interview, the former Real Madrid star also revealed how former boss Ferguson persuaded him to return to the club last summer over club’s arch rivals and neighbours Manchester City.
“I followed my heart. He [Sir Alex] said to me, ‘It’s impossible for you to come to Manchester City’, and I said, ‘OK, boss’.
“He knows better than anybody that the club is not on the path they deserve to be.
“He knows. Everyone knows. The people who don’t see that… it’s because they don’t want to see; they are blind.”
Ronaldo will be with Portugal at this year’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar and it is not clear whether he will be at Old Trafford in the next transfer window.