The Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo has labelled Manchester United of “betraying” him and accused manager Erik ten Hag is among a number of people trying to force him out of the club.
Former Madrid legend Ronaldo sat down with TV presenter Piers Morgan for an exclusive interview set to be broadcast in full later in the week.
But, in an early clip, the Portuguese forward expressed dismay at his supposed treatment at Old Trafford.
Ronaldo, who returned to the club last summer in a stunning deadline-day move, has claimed the club have been trying to force him out and make him the “black sheep”.
Ronaldo had been linked with a move away from the club last summer, but was forced to remain at Old Trafford due to a lack of concrete interest elsewhere.
Ronaldo told Morgan he believes the club are trying to “force him out”.
“Yes,” Ronaldo admitted. “Not only the coach but another two or three guys there around the club.
“I felt betrayed.”
Asked if he thought United were trying to “get rid” of him?
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner responded:
“Honestly, I shouldn’t say that, I don’t know.
“Listen, I don’t care. People should listen to the truth.
“Yes I feel betrayed. And I felt some people don’t want me here. Not only this year but last year too.”
Ronaldo initially joined United in 2003, helping the club to three league titles and a Champions League title before moving to Real Madrid in 2009.
The also former Juventus star had a fruitful spell in the Spanish capital where among other achievements.
He became the club’s all-time top scorer before joining Juventus in 2018.
After three years in Italy, Ronaldo made an emotional return to Manchester but despite 24 goals last season, the team slumped to a sixth place finish.
The player believes that internal issues since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson are to blame for their lack of success in recent years.
United haven’t won the Premier League since Ferguson’s final year in 2013 and are without a trophy of any description since 2017.
“The progress was zero.” “Since Sir Alex left, I saw no evolution in the club. Nothing had changed.”
“For example, we have an interesting point that how the club as Manchester United after (they) sack Ole (Gunnar Solskjaer) – they bring (in),
sports director Ralf Rangnick, which is something that nobody understands.
“This guy is not even a coach. A bigger club like Manchester United brings (a) sports director – surprised not only me but all the world, you know.
“Nothing changed. Surprisingly. Not only the pool, the jacuzzi, even the gym…
Even some points, the technology, the kitchen, the chefs, which is, I appreciate, lovely persons.
“They stopped in a time, which surprised me a lot.
I thought I will see different things…different, as I mentioned before, technology, infrastructure.
But unfortunately, we see many things that I used to see when I was 20, 21, 23. So, it surprised me a lot.”
Ronaldo has made just five starts this season, scoring once, and did not feature in United’s latest match, a 2-1 win over Fulham.
Ronaldo says he has no ‘respect’ for Ten Hag
Ronaldo has not played because of an unspecified illness since he captained United in their 3-1 defeat at Aston Villa on 6 November.
He was dropped for the Premier League game at Chelsea last month by Ten Hag after refusing to come on as a substitute against Tottenham three days earlier.
“I don’t have respect for him because he doesn’t show respect for me.”
“If you don’t have respect for me, I’m never gonna have respect for you.”
Wayne Rooney has criticised former United team-mate Ronaldo’s behaviour this season and the Portugal international also criticised the ex-England striker.
“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.”
“I’m not going to say that I’m looking better than him. Which is true…”