Cristiano Ronaldo feels 'betrayed' by Manchester United and has no respect for Ten Hag

Portugal striker tells Piers Morgan he feels he is being pushed out by the club

Cristiano Ronaldo says he has no respect for new Manchester United coach Erik ten Hag. PA
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Cristiano Ronaldo says he feels betrayed by certain figures at Manchester United, including head coach Erik ten Hag.

Ronaldo, 37, has been largely relegated to the substitutes' bench this season under new United boss Ten Hag, and was even briefly banished from the squad after storming off down the tunnel during last month's Premier League win against Tottenham.

The Portugal striker rejoined United from Juventus for a second spell at Old Trafford in August 2021 on a two-year deal, returning to the club where he won eight major trophies from 2003-2009.

In an interview with Piers Morgan for TalkTV, released on Sunday, Ronaldo was asked whether United's hierarchy were trying to push him out of the club.

"Yes, not only the coach, but another two or three guys around the club. I felt betrayed," he said.

"Yes I feel betrayed, and I felt some people don't want me here, not just this year, but last year too."

Friction between player and manager came to a head on October 19 when Ten Hag said Ronaldo refused to come on as a substitute against Tottenham Hotspur when the forward walked down the tunnel with a few minutes of the match remaining after being left on the bench.

He was then not part of the squad that faced Chelsea the following Saturday.

Ronaldo, who will captain Portugal at the World Cup in Qatar, said of Ten Hag: "I don’t have respect for him because he doesn’t show respect for me. If you don’t respect me, I’m never gonna have respect for you."

He was not even named among the substitutes for Sunday's 2-1 win away at Fulham, with Ten Hag naming only eight players on the bench including two goalkeepers.

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Victory kept United fifth in the Premier League table three points behind fourth-placed Tottenham as the domestic season shuts down for the World Cup in Qatar starting this weekend.

Ronaldo said Manchester United did not support him when his daughter was taken to hospital in July. He said the club doubted him and showed a lack of empathy when he did not arrive on time for pre-season training.

“I think the fans should know the truth,” he said.

“I want the best for the club. This is why I came 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.”

Ronaldo's first spell was under former United manager Alex Ferguson, who retired in 2013. The Portuguese said his view of the club is shared by Ferguson.

"The progress was zero since Sir Alex [Ferguson] left, I saw no evolution in the club. Nothing had changed," Ronaldo said.

"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 was also critical of the club's decision last season to replace manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, a former teammate of the Portuguese, with Ralf Rangnick.

Rangnick had left his role as head of sport and development at Russian side Lokomotiv Moscow to take over at Old Trafford.

"After the club sacked Ole, they bring sporting director Ralf Rangnick, which is something nobody understands," Ronaldo said.

"This guy, he is not even a coach. A big club like Manchester United brings a sporting director surprised not only me but all the world."

The club on Monday issued a statement in response to Ronaldo's comments, saying: “Manchester United notes the media coverage regarding an interview by Cristiano Ronaldo. 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.”

Updated: November 14, 2022, 2:50 PM
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