Manchester United attacker Cristiano Ronaldo has hit out at both Gary Neville and Wayne Rooney for criticising him this season.
The 37-year-old has conducted an interview with Piers Morgan – due to be released on Wednesday and Thursday night – which gives his side of the story. Morgan has already released snippets on Twitter where Ronaldo undermines Erik ten Hag, slams the Man Utd top brass and says he ‘hadn’t heard’ of Ralf Rangnick before his interim appointment.
It’s fair to say the interview has caused controversy. Jamie Carragher thinks 99 per cent of Man Utd fans will be in Ten Hag’s corner. This is because Ronaldo has handled the situation terribly, according to Carragher.
Ronaldo’s former team-mate Rio Ferdinand, meanwhile, says the book is closed and the Portuguese will never play for the Red Devils again.
Ferdinand reckons the exact moment Ronaldo’s career was over was when he criticised his manager. The other comments he may have been able to come back from, but not that.
And there is bound to be more controversy after Morgan revealed Ronaldo’s thoughts on Man Utd legends Rooney and Neville.
Former right-back Neville is regularly asked about Ronaldo while appearing as a pundit on Sky Sports. He has had to deal with tough questions about Ronaldo pushing to leave the club this summer, as well as him refusing to come on as a substitute against Tottenham.
Neville has criticised Ronaldo for his actions, which are taking the attention away from Ten Hag’s project at Old Trafford.
Cristiano Ronaldo makes shock claim about Gary Neville
But Ronaldo feels the comments made by Neville are unfair. He even thinks the former defender is only using his name for TV fame.
“To listen as ex-colleagues or team-mates criticise you, when they only see one point of view. It’s easy,” Ronaldo said.
“It’s easy to criticise, I don’t know if you have a job in television that they must criticise to be more famous. I really don’t understand it.
“It’s hard when you see people who was in the dressing room with you criticising that way.”
Morgan then asked Ronaldo if Neville used his name to make headlines in the media. The player responded: “I think they take advantage of that because they are not stupid.
“I’m the number one followed guy in the world. It’s not by coincidence.”
That came after Ronaldo had fired shots at former strike partner Rooney. During a recent interview with talkSPORT, Rooney urged Ronaldo to ‘get his head down’ as he is becoming an ‘unwanted distraction’ at Man Utd.
Ronaldo has had enough of Rooney criticism, too
But the five-time Ballon d’Or winner was left angered by this verdict. “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,” Ronaldo said.
“I’m not going to say that I’m looking better than him. Which is true…”
Ronaldo then spoke about his shock at Rooney criticising him, despite them meeting up and their kids playing together.
“It was one year ago, or six months ago. We’re here in my house, he picked up his kids here and he invited (12-year-old son) Cristiano to go to his house to play football,” Ronaldo revealed.
“I really don’t understand people like that. Or if they want to be on a cover of the paper in the news or they want new jobs or whatever.”
Ronaldo has a right to feel aggrieved after there has been so much negative talk about him in the last six months.
However, Rooney and Neville also have their right to criticise him. After all, he has done little to embrace the Ten Hag project and has tried to make the manager look like a joke at times.
Rooney and Neville want the best for Man Utd and while Ronaldo is there it doesn’t seem they are going to make that much progress.
Luckily for everyone involved with the club, it seems like the veteran’s return will soon end. He is once again on the radar of a ‘Big Six’ rival, according to reports.