Cristiano Ronaldo has warned that he doesn’t expect Manchester United to challenge for major honours in the near future in the latest of his astonishing outbursts against his employers.
The Portuguese legend returned to Old Trafford a hero when he arrived in Manchester in the summer of 2021, but poor team form led to a disappointing season, despite the striker himself netting 18 times in the Premier League.
Erik Ten Hag’s appointment, however, made matters worse, with Ronaldo late to rejoin the club for pre-season amid concerns that he was pushing for a move away, and the relationship between player and manager having gone downhill ever since.
He was not brought on against Manchester City, a game his side lost 6-3 in, out of “respect for his big career”, and refused to be brought on a month later as his side beat Tottenham 2-0, storming down the tunnel before full-time and subsequently being dropped from the squad.
And, quizzed on Ten Hag during a remarkable interview with Piers Morgan, in which Ronaldo claimed he felt ‘betrayed’, the all time leading goalscorer at international level revealed his stance with the Dutch boss.
“I don’t have respect for him because he doesn’t show respect for me”, he claimed.
“If you don’t have respect for me, I will never have any for you.”
It was not just Ten Hag that was in the firing line either, with Ronaldo predicting Manchester United’s period of relative failure to continue as a result of issues within the club, including the owners.
“In my opinion it will be hard for Man United to be in the top of the game in the next two or three years”.
“I want the best for the club, the fans deserve the truth. You have things inside the club which don’t help Man Utd reach the top level”.
“The owners of the club, Glazers… they don’t care — I mean professionally, sportingly. They don’t care”, he added.
“I never spoke to them, never!”