Cristiano Ronaldo continues to dominate headlines after Manchester United games, irrespective of his impact and involvement.
The Portuguese icon is used to being the centre of attention, perhaps more than any other footballer in history. For the best part of his career that was because of his match-winning goals, hat-tricks, free-kicks, and unstoppable headers. But in recent times, he has been drawing eyeballs for mostly frustrating reasons.
New United manager Erik ten Hag is starting to grind out results without his talisman but has struggled to peel off from the questions surrounding Ronaldo’s game time and future at Old Trafford.
In October, the Red Devils produced their most convincing performance so far under the new coach to beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-0. But after the full-time whistle, the post-match analysis shows spent most of their time talking about Ronaldo’s decision to storm down the tunnel in the 89th minute. Ten Hag didn’t have much to say during his interview, but he dropped the 37-year-old from the squad for one outing.
On Sunday, United won all three points courtesy of a late goal from Alejandro Garnacho at Fulham. A stoppage-time winner from an academy graduate would’ve been a fine story the next morning.
However, Ronaldo once again managed to grab the attention with his interview, criticising the club as well as the manager for forcing him out and not respecting him.
"I feel betrayed."
EXCLUSIVE: Cristiano Ronaldo tells Piers Morgan he feels like he's being forced out of Manchester United in an explosive interview.
— Piers Morgan Uncensored (@PiersUncensored) November 13, 2022
The 1% will be Rio, Roy & Patrice…. https://t.co/PPFgVWz2eA
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) November 13, 2022
Ronaldo highlighting how Man United were run as a brand prioritising signing shiny things for far too much money at the expense of basic team-building and unity, with a huge slice of nostalgia thrown in for good measure.
Ironically, the exact reasons why Ronaldo was re-signed! https://t.co/Dq2SmCgByF
— Colin Millar (@Millar_Colin) November 13, 2022
When you think about it, Ronaldo wasn’t wrong about calling out the Club for not developing facilities and being stagnant, he only messed up when he bashed Ten Hag and shamed Rooney’s looks. All the same him leaving is best for everyone tbh
— Trey (@UTDTrey) November 14, 2022
No response from #mufc on Ronaldo claims so far. Surreal he captained club a week ago and seems like an opening salvo to force the club into paying him off. He’s misread the room again, overshadowing positive result with more negativity. Matchgoers aren’t daft and back Ten Hag.
— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) November 13, 2022
After a successful trip to Craven Cottage, several United players will head to the World Cup, as such there won’t be any press conference for Ten Hag to attend until late December. But rest assured that one of the first questions before the Boxing Day fixture would be about Ronaldo.
Ten Hag will be happy that the winter window will open soon afterward, providing United with a perfect opportunity to cut ties with their superstar.