Hours before Cristiano Ronaldo’s much-anticipated interview with Piers Morgan aired, Manchester United removed a giant mural of the Portuguese superstar outside Old Trafford.
They certainly knew it was coming.
Few inside United were spared their scathing criticism of the club during a 90-minute interview on Talk TV.
He published excerpts of the interview on Sunday, including bits in which he said he felt “betrayed” by United and had no respect for manager Erik ten Haag.
Here are some highlights of the incendiary interview that aired four days before the start of the World Cup in Qatar:
close to the city.
Cristiano admitted he was close to signing with Manchester City before finally agreeing terms with his former team in August last year. “It was close, they tried hard to attract me,” Cristiano said of City and their manager Pep Guardiola. “But as you know, with my history with Manchester United, the heart, the emotions, the history we achieved before, that’s the difference.”
Cristiano said he quickly realized that United had not progressed since their first successful spell between 2003 and 2009. “When I arrived, I thought everything would be different – the technology, the infrastructure, everything,” he said. “I was horrified. I saw that everything was still the same”. The Portuguese striker said he was surprised that United have not attracted players of better potential since signing. He assured that the club “stopped on time”.
Cristiano criticized United’s decision to appoint Ralf Rangnick as caretaker manager following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. “He is not even a coach,” he alleged. “A great club like Manchester United surprised not only me, but the whole world, by bringing in a sporting director.” He agreed with Morgan’s assessment that it was “a ridiculous decision”.
Cristiano said he was also surprised that United’s youth players do not use him as an example. “They hear one thing and two minutes later they forget it and do what they like best,” he said. Without taking names, Cristiano Ronaldo said that “he doesn’t care”. He said Diogo Dalot, Lisandro Martinez and Casemiro are exceptions.
Critica A Rooney
He said he was hurt by the criticism in the press of his former United teammate Wayne Rooney, saying that not long ago the former England striker was taking his children home. Was it jealousy? Asked Morgan, “Maybe,” 37-year-old Cristiano replied.