No one seems safe from Cristiano Ronaldo’s wrath at the moment.
The superstar has been on a war-path against his current club and is clearly uninspired by Manchester United’s owners, the Glazer family.
In an explosive interview with Piers Morgan for TalkTV, Ronaldo says the owners “don’t care about the club.”
“Manchester is a marketing club,” he says, in an interview which has been teased out this week ahead of its full release across Wednesday and Thursday.
“They will get money from the marketing – the sport, it’s… they don’t really care, in my opinion.”
The Glazer family became majority shareholders at the club in 2005, but their involvement has never sat well with the majority of fans.
Ronaldo, who says he’s never met the owners, told TalkTV that not enough investment has been put into the training facilities and that many things had stayed the same since he first left the club in 2009.
He says there are “things inside the club” that are preventing Manchester United from reaching the top level and competing with the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and now league leader Arsenal.
United haven’t won a major trophy for five years and Ronaldo says he can’t see the club being a major force for the next two to three years.
“The fans, they’re always right. I think the fans should know the truth, should know that the players want the best for the club,” Ronaldo added.
“I want the best for the club. This is why I came to Manchester United. This is why I love this club.”
Rooney and Neville ‘not friends’
Ronaldo also saved barbs for former teammates Wayne Rooney and Gary Neville who have both criticized the Portuguese star in recent weeks.
He added that Rooney, who is the current manager of DC United, might be jealous that he wasn’t still playing at the highest level.
“It’s hard to listen to that kind of criticism and negativity about people who played with you,” Ronaldo says, adding Neville and Rooney were not his friends.
“It’s easy to criticize. I don’t know if they have a job in television that they must criticize to be more famous, I really don’t understand.
“I think they take advantage of [my name] because they are not stupid.”
In the first clip of the interview aired on Sunday, Ronaldo says he felt “betrayed” by the club and that he didn’t have respect for current manager Erik ten Hag.
It comes during a difficult season for the 37-year-old, who has seen his playing time limited and scored just one league goal.
In addition to struggling on the pitch, Ronaldo has endured heartbreak off it. Earlier this year, he and his partner, Georgina Rodríguez, announced their baby son had died.
The Portugal star had announced in October 2021 that he and Rodríguez were expecting twins. In December, they announced they were expecting a boy and a girl.
Ronaldo says his baby daughter had also ended up in the hospital this year and that was the reason he missed the majority of preseason training with the club.
However, he says the club “didn’t believe” that he was struggling with his family issues.
Manchester United released a statement on its website saying it “notes the media coverage regarding an interview by Cristiano Ronaldo.”
It added: “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.”
Ronaldo is set to play for Portugal at Qatar 2022 this month before returning to Manchester where some difficult conversations are bound to be had.