Thursday night’s broadcast of the second half of Cristiano Ronaldo’s controversial interview with Piers Morgan featured the Manchester United striker covering a variety of intriguing topics.
Ronaldo spoke about the Glazers, his daughter’s illness with bronchitis, his early game against Rayo Vallecano, his thoughts on the World Cup in Qatar and even stated that he would like Arsenal to win the Premier League this season. But none of those incendiary talking points were among the five highlights we’ve selected from the second part of his extended TalkTV conversation…
In clips shown earlier this week as a promo for the full interview that aired, Ronaldo told Morgan he had “no respect” for United manager Erik ten Hag, who he says is trying to force him to leave the club. He also referred to the Dutchman’s treatment of him as feeling like a ‘black sheep’.
“The coach had no respect for me. That’s why the relationship is that way. He keeps saying in the press that he comes to me, he likes me, blah blah blah, but that’s just for the press, 100%,” said the United attacker. “If you don’t have respect for me, I will never have respect for you. I do not hide that the empathy with the coach is not good.
departure from tottenham
Ronaldo infamously refused to come off the bench in a 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur last month and then dramatically walked off the stadium. During the interview, the Portugal star said this was due to Ten Hag’s decision not to put him on in the dying minutes in a 6-3 loss to Manchester City a few weeks earlier, a decision the former Ajax manager said that he took. ‘respect’.
But Ronaldo, in his opinion, feels this was a contradiction and said there was a lack of respect from Ten Hag, despite the different scores in the matches against Spurs and City. Asked if he regretted the decision, Ronaldo said: “It’s hard to tell you 100%, but let’s say I regret it.” [it]but in the same way I felt provoked by the coach”, he said.
“It is not allowed for a coach to put me in for three minutes in a game. Sorry, I’m not that kind of player. I know what I can give to the teams”.
Ronaldo also criticized the club’s decision to suspend him for the next game against Chelsea. “He was very, very, very, very disappointed by the communication from Manchester United. To be honest, I never had a problem with any club, with any coach, ”he said. “And they suspend me [for] three days, which I felt was a lot, and the level of sports, clubs, I felt a lot. That was a shame.”
Manchester United future
Ronaldo was asked if he ever sees himself representing United again, and he seemed to hint that he might have played his last game for the Red Devils. “It is difficult for me to say that I will not return to Manchester United, but regardless, as you say, let’s see what happens.
“It’s hard to tell you right now. My mood is in the World Cup. It will probably be my last World Cup, my fifth World Cup. I don’t know what will happen after the World Cup”.
The 37-year-old also revealed that he plans to retire in the next few years. “I want to play two more years, three more years,” he explained. So two or three years maximum. I want to finish at 40. I think 40 will be a good age…
“But I don’t know, I don’t know the future. Sometimes you plan one thing for your life and as I told you many times, life is dynamic. And you never know what’s going to happen.”
In the final minutes of the interview, Ronaldo spoke of his immense respect for Lionel Messi, his longtime rival for the Ballon d’Or. The former Real Madrid and Juventus striker told Morgan that Messi, along with Zinedine Zidane, is the best player he has ever faced.
“He is an incredible player. Magic. Up”, Ronaldo said. “As a person, we have shared the stage for 16 years. Imagine 16 years. So, I have a great relationship with him.”