After months of rumour and counter rumour over his position at Manchester United, Ronaldo has blown the lid on his time at Old Trafford.
After months of rumour and counter rumour over his position at Manchester United, Ronaldo has blown the lid on his time at Old Trafford in a manner that effectively ensures he has to leave the club in the January transfer window.
It is unusual for a player to speak out about his club in such brutal fashion while he is still an employee, with Premier League clubs doing all they can to block access to the ‘outside’ media as they try to control the narrative to their audience with suger-coated stories.
So Ronaldo will almost certainly be fined two weeks wages for an interview that tripped into manager Erik ten Hag, pointed accusing fingers at the club’s directors and even found time to blast United’s record goal scorer Wayne Rooney.
By stating her feels “betrayed” by the club and suggesting he has been made a “black sheep” by Ten Hag and club officials, Ronaldo was effectively handing in his notice and confirming he no longer wants to play for United.
He may also have shredded his legacy with United fans who may have been hoping for some kind of reconciliation with a player who captained United in their defeat at Aston Villa earlier this month.
His comments on Ten Hag left little to the imagination as he stated: “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.”
Ronaldo also insisted he was speaking out because he claimed the club needed to know how he has been treated.
“I think the fans should know the truth,” he says. “I want the best for the club. This is why I come to Manchester United,” he stated.
“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.
"I love Manchester United, I love the fans, they’re always on my side. But if they want to do it different… they have to change many, many things.”
Ronaldo, who was heavily linked with a move away from Old Trafford in the summer, also hit out at former United team-mate Rooney over criticism the former had received for refusing to come on against Spurs.
Writing in The Sun newspaper, Morgan revealed Ronaldo said: “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…”
This interview will almost certainly lead to a reprimand from his employers, yet Ronaldo clearly doesn’t care what happens next as he believes his United story is over, with this message to the club’s fans a desperate attempt to keep them on his side.
“They are the most important things in football. You play for them,” he said of the United supporters.
“They are always on my side. I feel that every time when I go out, when I walk in the streets, the fans come up to me and they appreciate what I do for football.
“The fans for me are everything. This is why I give this interview, because I think it’s the right time to speak my mind.”
If there was any doubt about Ronaldo’s future at United, he has ensured that the end game is close.
And when his legacy at United is remembered, this final act will leave a nasty taste that will be hard to erase.