Cristiano Ronaldo has said he felt “betrayed” by Manchester United, claiming that manager Erik Ten Hag and other senior executives are trying to force him out of the club.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner, who returned to Old Trafford at the start of last season, has been a peripheral figure on the field since Ten Hag took charge this year.
Last month, Ten Hag said Ronaldo refused to come on as a substitute against Tottenham Hotspur and then walked down the tunnel with a few minutes of the match remaining.
He was not part of the squad that faced Chelsea the following Saturday.
While he has returned to the side in recent weeks, and even captained the Red Devils in a 3-1 loss at Aston Villa last weekend, the 37-year-old was absent from the squad in Sunday’s 2-1 victory over Fulham in United’s last match before a six-week break for the World Cup.
Ronaldo “I don’t respect the manager”
Ronaldo under ETH: Announced he wanted to leave, refused to come on as a substitute, walked off the bench & left before the game had finished.
99% of United fans will be on the side of ETH, which shows how badly Ronaldo has handled this.
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) November 13, 2022
“I don’t have respect for him because he doesn’t show respect for me,” Ronaldo said of Ten Hag in an interview on Sunday. “Not only the coach but another two or three guys around the club. I felt betrayed.”
When asked again if senior club executives were trying to oust him, Ronaldo replied: “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 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.
Ronaldo’s first spell at United had been a glorious one under Alex Ferguson, winning three Premier League titles, the Champions League and the first of his Ballon d’Or crowns.
Despite his 24 goals in all competitions last season, United endured a terrible campaign as they finished sixth in the Premier League and failed to qualify for the Champions League.
He was critical of the club’s decision to replace manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, a former teammate of his, with Ralf Rangnick last season.
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 brought sporting director 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 the whole world.”
Ronaldo then reportedly tried to engineer an exit before the start of this season, but could not reach an agreement with another club.
“Since Sir Alex left, I saw no evolution in the club. Nothing had changed,” said Ronaldo on what he found on his return to United. “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 (Manchester) 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.”
United are currently fifth in the league, 11 points behind leaders Arsenal, as club football takes a break for the World Cup.
A legend of the club, greatest of all time, you disrespected him & you don’t want him to talk.
Ronaldo has nothing to lose in football anymore & he must be treated with the utmost respect.
You prevented him from leaving & you want to disrespect him? NEVER
— POOHA!!! (@PoojaMedia) November 14, 2022