Cristiano Ronaldo has suggested his relationship with Erik ten Hag is broken after feeling “provoked” by the Manchester United manager to walk out during the game against Tottenham Hotspur.
In the second part of his interview with Piers Morgan on TalkTV, aired in the UK on Thursday, Ronaldo said he felt disrespected by Ten Hag after the United boss claimed he would not subject the 37-year-old to a late substitute appearance against Manchester City only then tried to bring him on for three minutes against Spurs, prompting the striker to leave early.
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“You don’t put me on against Manchester City because of respect for my career and you want to put me on for three minutes against Tottenham?” said Ronaldo. “It doesn’t make sense. I think he did it on purpose. I felt provoked not only because of that game, but before.
“He doesn’t respect the way I should deserve. But it is what it is. This is why probably, the game against Tottenham, I left.
“The coach didn’t have respect for me. So this is why the relationship is the way it is. He keeps saying in the press that he came to me and he likes me blah, blah, blah but that it’s only for the press , 100%.
“If you don’t have respect for me, I’m never going to have respect for you.”
Ronaldo, who is due to arrive in Qatar with Portugal on Friday ahead of the World Cup, said it’s “difficult to tell” if he will still be a United player after the tournament following his explosive interview with Morgan.
However, the former Real Madrid and Juventus striker has rejected the suggestion there are no clubs willing to sign him despite sources close to United insisting an offer from Saudi Arabia is the only one they have received since the summer.
“What they say the last three months is completely garbage and wrong,” said Ronaldo.
“They say that they offer me this and that, and many presidents and directors speak about, they reject me. It’s a complete lie, they lie. Because this is not what’s happened. I have many clubs, not many, a few clubs that they want me to sign and I didn’t go because I feel comfortable here. This is the truth.
“What the press keep saying, the garbage, is that nobody wants me, which is completely wrong. And I was happy here to be honest, I was motivated to do a great season here. But they continue to repeat that nobody wants Cristiano. How they don’t want a player who scored 32 goals last year?”
Ronaldo also hinted he could retire “on the spot” if Portugal win the World Cup in Qatar but says that if it doesn’t happen, he plans to play for another three years until he reaches 40.
He also heaped praise on Lionel Messi, his long-time competitor, who is set to feature in his last World Cup with Argentina.
“Amazing player is magic, top,” added Ronaldo.
“I have a great relationship with him. I’m not a friend of him in terms of, what I mean by friend is the guy who was with you in your house, speaking on the phone, no, but it’s like a teammate.
“He’s a guy that I really respect the way he always speaks about me. What am I going to say about Messi? A great guy who does great things for football.”