Cristiano Ronaldo's return to Manchester United isn't going as planned. Things escalated Sunday, as Ronaldo ripped the team during an interview with The Sun's Piers Morgan.
The Sun released a clip of the interview Sunday, in which Ronaldo said he felt "betrayed" by Manchester United.
Ronaldo called out "the coach" and then "the other two or three guys there around the club." Morgan asked if Ronaldo was talking about club senior executives. Ronaldo responded by saying yes.
Ronaldo continued to criticize Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag, saying, "I don’t have respect for him because he doesn’t show respect for me," per the Sun. "If you don’t have respect for me, I’m never gonna have respect for you. If you don’t have respect for me, I’m never gonna have respect for you.”
Former manager Ralf Rangnick was also the target of Ronaldo's ire. "If you’re not even a coach, how are you going to be the boss of Manchester United," Ronaldo told the Sun. "I’d never even heard of him.”
Ronaldo also ripped Manchester United's training facilities, saying the team did not make improvements under Rangnick. Former teammate Wayne Rooney also found himself in the crosshairs, with Ronaldo saying, "I don’t know why he criticizes me so badly ... probably because he finished his career and I’m still playing at high level.”
Cristiano Ronaldo's second stint with Manchester United has not gone well
Sunday's interview continues a miserable trend for Ronaldo with his former club. Ronaldo and the team failed to live up to expectations during his first season back with the club last campaign. Those struggles were enhanced by Ronaldo's feud with Rangnick.
Ronaldo reportedly wanted to leave the club, but was unable to find a big club willing to agree to a transfer. Ten Hag took over and promptly benched Ronaldo early in the season, preferring to go with younger players. Ronaldo was not happy with that, and refused to sub into a game against Tottenham.
Ronaldo's interview with Morgan won't help the situation. Things were already trending in the wrong direction for Ronaldo and Manchester United. It's tough to see a scenario where both sides shake hands and amicably move on following Sunday's comments.
Manchester United responds
Ronaldo's interview didn't go unnoticed by Manchester United. The club released a statement Monday morning acknowledging "the media coverage regarding an interview by Cristiano Ronaldo" and "will consider its response after the full facts have been established."
What that means remains to be seen. But in any event, Manchester United can't be happy with how Ronaldo conducted himself during his tumultuous season.
Man U added that their goal and focus for the season "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."