Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed he “doesn’t respect” Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag, and criticised Ralf Rangnick as well as several others at the club, in a damning new interview.
Ronaldo re-joined his former employers in the summer of 2021 and got off to a flying start, but has endured a difficult 2022 that has been marred by behavioural incidents and a decline in form on the pitch.
90min learned in summer that the 37-year-old had asked to leave United after a dismal season saw them finish out of the Champions League positions in sixth place. And since Erik ten Hag’s arrival as manager, his relationship with the club has continued to break down.
Ronaldo missed the vast majority of pre-season under the new manager and infamously left at half-time in United’s pre-season friendly against Rayo Vallecano in July. He’s since been used in a reduced role by Ten Hag and was dropped completely after leaving the field early against Tottenham in October and refusing to come on as a substitute in the game.
In an interview with Piers Morgan, as released by The Sun, Ronaldo criticised Ten Hag, saying: “I don’t have respect for him (Ten Hag) because he doesn’t show respect for me. If you don’t have respect for me, I’m never gonna have respect for you.”
The 37-year-old also spoke on Rangnick, who took over from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on an interim basis following his sacking and saw out United’s 2021/22 season: “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 (Rangnick).”
Ronaldo added that he feels he has been made out to be a ‘black sheep’ at United and also spoke on Wayne Rooney, who criticised the five-time Ballon d’Or winner for his behaviour earlier in the week: “I don’t know why he criticises me so badly…probably because he finished his career and I’m still playing at a high level.”
In a video clip released alongside the written interview, Ronaldo was asked if he felt he was being forced out of the club, to which he responded: “Yes. Not only the coach, but the other two or three guys there around the club.”
He then confirmed those others were at a senior executive level when quizzed by Morgan, and added: “I felt betrayed.”
When asked if he felt they were trying to get rid of him, Ronaldo admitted: “Honestly I shouldn’t say that, I don’t know, but listen, I don’t care. People should listen (to) the truth.
“Yes I feel betrayed and I feel that some people they don’t want me here (at United), not only this year but last year too.”
Ronaldo’s contract with United expires at the end of the 2022/23 season, but the club has the option to extend it for another year.