UPDATED 11/22, 1:20 p.m. ET: Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United have mutually agreed to part ways, the team announced.
“Cristiano Ronaldo is to leave Manchester United by mutual agreement, with immediate effect,” the team wrote on Twitter. “The club thanks him for his immense contribution across two spells at Old Trafford.”
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Cristiano Ronaldo criticized his own club, Manchester United, and its manager Erik ten Hag in excerpts from an upcoming interview with Piers Morgan.
News of the interview surfaced shortly after United’s 2-1 victory over Fulham over the weekend, their final game before the Premier League enters a weeks-long hiatus for the 2022 World Cup.
“I don’t have respect for him because he doesn’t show respect for me,” Ronaldo said, per ESPN, of ten Hag, who demoted him for a meeting he took with Chelsea after he allegedly refused to come in as a substitute against Tottenham and was seen walking into the locker room before the match concluded.
“If you don’t have respect for me, I’m never gonna have respect for you,” he added.
Ronaldo issued an apology for his actions on Instagram, writing, “This is Manchester United, and united we must stand. Soon we’ll be together again.”
The superstar claims United wanted him to leave, despite a report alleging the 37-year-old striker wanted to play in the Champions League, given his few remaining years. “Manchester United tried to force me out,” he told Morgan.
“Not only the manager, but the other two or three guys who are around the club [at the senior executive level]. I felt betrayed,” Ronaldo continued. “I don’t care, people should listen to the truth. Yes, I felt betrayed. I feel that some people didn’t want me here, not only this year but last season too”
Ronaldo explained decided to join United last year, even though he “never heard of” former manager Ralf Rangnick because Sir Alex Ferguson convinced him that he could not join rival Manchester City.
According to the Portuguese striker, he has little confidence in his current team. “The progress was zero,” he said. “Since Sir Alex left, I saw no evolution in the club. Nothing had changed. He [Ferguson] knows better than anybody that the club is not on the path they deserve to be.”
“He knows. Everyone knows. The people who don’t see that. It’s because they don’t want to see; they are blind,” he continued.
United spent a record $270 million during the summer transfer window to improve the roster, an investment that has resulted in the club sitting in fifth in the league.
Speaking of transfer windows, it’s almost certain that United will look to ship out Ronaldo when the next one arrives in January.