European Football Legend Cristiano Ronaldo Feels “Betrayed” | Says Manchester United Callously Doubted “His Commitment to Him While He Was Dealing With Family Tragedy

(Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo did not hold back in criticizing his club, Manchester United, in a sit-down interview with Piers Morgan. Ronaldo says he feels betrayed by the club and that manager Erik ten Hag and senior officials don’t want him at Old Trafford. What’s next for the Portuguese footballer?

“I feel betrayed,” said the five-time UEFA Champions League winner. “And I felt that some people, they don’t want me here. Not only this year, but last year too.”

At the heart of Ronaldo’s issue is what he sees as a lack of respect from ten Hag. Including his five Ballon d’Ors and five UEFA Champions League titles, Ronaldo has amassed 32 trophies in a legendary career. Including seven league titles in four different countries, and a European Championship with Portugal. He has scored more goals (813) than any footballer in history.

There is a lot of ego that comes with that résumé, and earlier this season ten Hag suspended Ronaldo for refusing to come on as a last-minute substitute against Tottenham in Premier League play.

“I don’t have respect for him because he doesn’t show respect for me,” said Ronaldo of ten Hag. “If you don’t have respect for me, I’m never gonna have respect for you.”

In April, he and his partner Georgina lost their baby son during childbirth, a traumatic experience that saw the boy’s twin sister survive. Ronaldo says he didn’t feel supported by the club during that time period.

Their surviving daughter had to be hospitalized in August, and he wanted to remain with his family. But that would mean he would miss preseason training for the club. He says club officials “doubted” his reasons for not showing up to camp.

“My family is everything to me. Even more so after what we have been through this year.”

Manchester United is no longer a top club in the English Premier League. They’ve been surpassed by their crosstown rivals Manchester City, who’ve won four of the last five league titles and was runner-up the season they didn’t win.

The last time Manchester United won the Premier League title was 2012-13. Their last Champions League title was 2007-08. Ronaldo helped them win that title in 2008 during his first stint with the club.

But times have changed.

“I want the best for the club. This is why I come to Manchester United,” said Ronaldo. “But you have some things inside that don’t help (us) reach the top level as City, Liverpool and even now Arsenal. . . a club with this dimension should be top of the tree in my opinion and they are not unfortunately.”

Ronaldo is a proud, insanely competitive athlete in the twilight of his career. He still has good football left in him as evidenced by last season with United. He led the team with 24 goals. But they’re struggling, and he clearly doesn’t want to be a part of that.

Could he have handled it differently and not done a sit-down interview at the suspension of league play for World Cup? Yes.

But the things that make him great on the pitch also haunt him off it. His singleminded focus, and ego, leads to petulance. That can be extremely gratifying.

Ronaldo will head off to captain Portugal in the World Cup which begins next week. This scathing rebuke is from a man looking to finish out the rest of his club career with the respect he’s earned and competing for trophies.

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