It is turning into a strange old season for five time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo. Whatever your thoughts on the man on an individual level, you cannot criticise his dedication to the game and keeping himself in shape during his long and storied career, as given the clubs he has represented he has won pretty much everything the game has to offer, including his much coveted 2016 UEFA European Championship winners medal.
His most glittering spell came at the Santiago Bernabeu and he definitely sold Real Madrid Tickets given his goalscoring return, particularly if we are talking about European exploits and recognition, but upon feeling he was no longer as valued as previously, he decided to make the switch out to a new test in Serie A and helped himself to further success with Juventus.
Speaking to France Football about the move, he partially disputed Real’s claim that the entire move was ‘at the will and the request of the player’ by explaining that taking some P1 Travel was not entirely down the him.
“I felt it inside the club, especially from the president, that they no longer considered me the same way that they did in the start. In the first four or five years there I had the feeling of being ‘Cristiano Ronaldo’. Less afterwards. The president looked at me through eyes that didn’t want to say the same thing, as if I was no longer indispensable to them, if you know what I mean. That’s what made me think about leaving. Sometimes I’d look at the news, where they were saying I was asking to leave. There was a bit of that but the truth is I always had the impression the president would not hold me back. The difference is that, at Juve, they really wanted me. They told me that and made it clear. The truth is that the president wanted me but, at the same time, he made it known to me that my departure would not constitute a problem.”
Things have not gone much better since he returned to former club Manchester United, and a recent interview (being released in parts) is causing quite the stir. Having missed the start of pre season, whilst angling for a transfer and then refusing to come off the bench as a substitute in October’s clash with Tottenham Hotspur – things have simply spiralled and whilst Erik ten Hag shows no signs of giving the player special treatment (despite recently handing him the armband), Ronaldo seems to feel scorned and he has not held back, turning his anger on both Ten Hag but also United’s owners and former team mates.
“The owners of the club, the Glazers, they don’t care about the club, professional sport. The fans are always right. They should know the truth. The players want the best for the club. I want the best for the club. This is why I came to Manchester United, this is why I love this club. You have some things inside the club which don’t help Manchester reach the top level like City, Liverpool and even now Arsenal. It’s complicated. It’s difficult. It’s hard.”
Adding about the new manager and even Ralf Rangnick.
“People should listen to the truth. Yes, I felt betrayed and I felt like some people don’t want me here, not only this year but last year too. If you’re not even a coach (Rangnick), how are you going to be the boss of Manchester United? I’d never even heard of him. 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.”
With three goals and two assists for his reported £500,000 wage, it is unlikely United fans will take these interviews well and some Real fans might have a wry smile on their faces.
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