Cristiano Ronaldo versus Man United scandal: all you need to know

Ronaldo enraged during one of his football matches

The football community got into a frenzy this week when parts of Cristiano Ronaldo’s scandalous interview with Piers Morgan, where he shed light on everything that has been going on with him in recent years, popped up online. Here we’ll tell you everything you need to know at once.

The FiFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar is a week away, but Cristiano Ronaldo has found a way to focus attention on himself. Excerpts from his big interview with Piers Morgan have been published this week, with the full version to be released on Wednesday. However, already what has appeared online is something that burns bridges between the club and the midfielder. Ronaldo is unlikely to ever wear a Manchester United jersey again. Below are quotes from the teaser of the interview. 

  • People should listen to the truth. MU tried to force me to leave the team. Not only the head coach, but also other people within the club. I felt betrayed. There is a feeling that some people didn’t want me at Manchester United, not only this season but last season.”
  • “If you [Ralf Rangnick] are not even a coach, how are you going to be the boss of Manchester United? I’d never even heard of him.”
  • “I don’t know why Rooney criticizes me so badly. Probably because he’s 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…
  • “I don’t respect Ten Hag because he doesn’t show respect for me. If you don’t respect me, I will never respect you.”
  • “MU’s progress was zero. Since Sir Alex [Ferguson] left, I saw no evolution at the club. Nothing has changed [for the better]. Not just the hot tub, the pool, even the gym. Even some of the technology aspects, the kitchen, the chefs – who I appreciate, they’re lovely people! I thought I would see other things, technology, infrastructure. Unfortunately, we see a lot of the things I was used to seeing at 21, 22, 23! It really surprised me.”
  • “Ferguson knows better than anyone that the club is not going the way it deserves. He knows that. And so does everyone else. People who don’t see it… It’s because they don’t want to see. They are blind. I think the fans should know the truth. I want the best for the club, that’s why I came to Manchester United. But some things inside [the club] don’t help us reach the same top level as Man City, Liverpool and even the current Arsenal. A club of that calibre [like Man Utd] should be in the top 3, but in my opinion it will be hard for MUFC to be in the top of the game in the next two or three years.”
  • “The Glazers [owners], they don’t care about the club. I mean, professional sport, as you know, Manchester is a marketing club. They will get money from the marketing – the sport, it’s, they don’t really care, in my opinion.”
  • “Sir Alex said to me, ‘You can’t go to Manchester City’, and I said OK, boss.”
  • “As Picasso said, you have to destroy it to rebuild it. I love Manchester United, I love the fans, they’re always on my side. But if they want to do it differently… they have to change many, many things.”

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Piers Morgan, the British journalist, refuses to disclose when the interview was filmed. But the timing seems to be ideal not just for the fans that anticipate WC, but also for the player himself and even for Man Utd. Fans find something to do while football matches are off TV, Ronaldo has once again become the centre of the football world’s attention and MU will have time to think about what to do with the player this winter.

I’ve done it recently, but that’s between me and Cristiano. Cristiano asked me to do it, simple as that. I didn’t ask him, he asked me. I think it’s no secret that Cristiano felt a build-up of deep frustration about what’s been happening at United over the last year. Cristiano has got a lot to say about the Glazers that I haven’t put out yet. He’s not impressed with the United owners.”

“Cristiano felt it was time to speak out. He knows it was going to be incendiary, he knows this is going to rattle some cages, but he also feels that he should be doing this. He knows people will criticize him, but he also knows that what he’s saying is true. Sometimes the truth hurts.”

“As he makes the point in the interview repeatedly – he loves MUFC, he loves the fans… But what he’s come back to, in his view, is a stagnated club which hasn’t moved on at all from where he left it. He can’t understand why not. He feels if he doesn’t speak out, nothing will change.”

“Ever since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, Manchester United have stagnated and become a mediocre club. Everyone knows that. Ronaldo is right in his criticism.”

he adds.

Man United are, of course, very displeased with the player’s interview, but are not doing anything about it yet.

“The club will consider its response after the full facts have been established. Our focus remains on preparing for the second half of the season and continuing the momentum, belief and togetherness being built among the players, manager, staff, and fans.”

the club stated on its official website.

Ronaldo’s actions are believed to have destabilised the situation while there is unity among the other players. Another source said that the Man Utd players “have not allowed Ronaldo’s tantrums to distract them”.

The Mancunian management will discuss possible action against the Portuguese, with Eric ten Hag, club chief executive Richard Arnold, sporting director John Merto and club co-owner Joel Glazer set to meet to decide on certain measures to be taken against Cristiano. It is reported that it will be Ten Hag who will have the final say, he has the full backing of management. Sources say that, not only the coach and the management, but also teammates feel frustrated about the interview. They are very disappointed with the style of presentation and the timing of the publication and do not understand why the main star of the club said all this.

Various options are being considered for punishment against the Portuguese, who gave the scandalous interview. Among them is the termination of the player’s contract by mutual agreement. This is possible if Cristiano does not claim the payments due to him until the end of the season. CR7 is still entitled to about £12 million in salary on a contract worth £450,000 a week, and so far he has not shown that he is willing to part ways with a settlement by mutual consent. The club fear that the Portuguese will still request the rest of his wages, so will not escalate the situation.

No decisions have been made yet, but the club approached lawyers on Monday for legal advice. United also have the right to impose a maximum fine of two weeks’ salary on Ronaldo, which would amount to approximately £900,000. Either way, the Red Devils will try to handle the situation as thoroughly as possible – they have enough time.

“Total and absolute focus on the work on the national team. A united group, towards a single objective: to make the dream of all Portuguese people come true!” 

said Ronaldo in his most recent activity on social media.

Most probably the sides will finally terminate the contract this winter (which is still the best option for both the player and the club), but where can the football star go?

  • Sporting CP is the most plausible choice for Ronaldo’s new club. It was here that the legendary Portuguese began his journey in big football. Cristiano has never made any secret of his desire to finish his career in Lisbon. 
  • Chelsea FC did not sign Ronaldo in the summer due to Thomas Tuchel’s protest. However, the German is no longer with the club now, while the new owner Todd Boehly is strongly interested in Cristiano – primarily because of his media appeal. 
  • A move to the MLS is the third of the most likely options to continue Ronaldo’s career. Across the ocean, they love to bring in big-name players from Europe despite their age. One of the main contenders for Cristiano is Inter Miami, which is owned by David Beckham. Becks has never made any secret of his ambitious desire to get Ronaldo and Messi in his team. 
  • Paris Saint-Germain FC represents another option to see generational idols –  Lionel Messi and Cri Ro – in the same team. The Parisians relish big names and are regularly linked with the transfer of the Portuguese. However, at the moment the club are changing their philosophy more into youth-oriented and Cristiano’s move certainly doesn’t fit into that. However, no one will argue with the enthusiasm of the PSG owners for sure.
  • AS Roma – Cristiano’s chances of moving to Rome are slim, but such an option also has validity. Wolves’ head coach, Jose Mourinho, worked with Cristiano at Real Madrid and they know each other well — moreover, the two compatriots have a very good relationship.

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