Cristiano Ronaldo has sensationally claimed that Manchester United have betrayed him and admitted that he doesn’t have any respect for manager Erik Ten Hag, according to reports.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner made his feelings clear in a 90-minute interview with Piers Morgan, as quoted by The Sun.
Speaking about the club, Ronaldo said that he felt let down, and that some people had wanted to get rid of him ever since he returned to Old Trafford in August 2021.
Ronaldo finished as United’s top scorer last season with 24 goals in all competitions, but the Red Devils only managed to finish sixth in the Premier League.
This led to a change of manager over the summer, with Ten Hag arriving on a long-term contract from Ajax.
Ronaldo and Ten Hag’s relationship has appeared strained since the start of the season after the Portuguese star told United he wanted to leave in July.
Ronaldo did not get his move, and has gone on to start just four league games for the side this term.
He has openly shown his frustration at times, refusing to come on as a substitute against Tottenham last month before storming down the tunnel and leaving Old Trafford prior to the full time whistle.
This led to him being banished from the squad for the next game against Chelsea, and despite being welcomed back into the fold since then, Ronaldo has revealed that he has no time for Ten Hag.
‘I don’t have respect for him because he doesn’t show respect for me,’ Ronaldo said when speaking about Ten Hag.
‘If you don’t have respect for me, I’m never gonna have respect for you.’
When Ronaldo returned to United, he initially worked under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but his former team-mate was sacked last November after a poor run of results.
This led to the 13-time Premier League champions appointing an interim manager in Ralf Rangnick until the end of the season.
United’s results failed to improve under Rangnick, and Ronaldo has now questioned whether he had the credentials to manage the club in the first place after spending much of the previous decade as a sporting director.
‘If you’re not even a coach, how are you going to be the boss of Manchester United? I’d never even heard of him,’ Ronaldo added.
Ronaldo has been criticised for his behaviour by ex-team-mate Wayne Rooney in recent days, with his former strike partner labelling his sulking this season as ‘unacceptable’.
Ronaldo hit back at Rooney in his interview with Morgan, hinting that England’s leading goalscorer is jealous that he is still playing at the highest level.
‘I don’t know why he criticises me so badly… probably because he finished his career and I’m still playing at high level,’ Ronaldo continued.
‘I’m not going to say that I’m looking better than him. Which is true…’
Ronaldo missed United’s 2-1 win against Fulham on Sunday, with Ten Hag citing an unspecified illness as the reason for his absence.
Following the victory, the Red devils head into the World Cup break in fifth place, 11 points behind leaders Arsenal.
A title tilt already appears to be beyond United, and Ronaldo has criticised the club for not kicking on since Sir Alex Ferguson left in 2013. He believes dramatic changes need to be made before United can challenge for major silverware again.
‘The progress was zero. Since Sir Alex left, I saw no evolution in the club. Nothing had changed,’ Ronaldo admitted when speaking about what he returned to last year after 12 years away from Old Trafford.
‘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.’