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Cristiano Ronaldo’s interview with Piers Morgan – Part two in full details

The second part of Cristiano Ronaldo’s interview with Piers Morgan has been released, and it contains some more very explosive bits of information. The forward was expected to address his relationship with Erik Ten Hag, Manchester United and his personal life in the second half. And now, we know all that the Portugal captain said. 

Cristiano Ronaldo’s interview with Piers Morgan – part two

On his relationship with football 

“Exactly, the record, the adrenaline. But Piers, let’s be honest, in the last few years, football has changed. I see football now as a business to be honest,” Ronaldo said.

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“Sometimes Georgina’s [his girlfriend] expression, that ‘I don’t understand that they treat you players like a piece of meat’. I say, ‘Yes, everything you say is true’. I see football, Piers, in the last years, as a business. I saw many, many things that I’m disappointed [with].

“The passion for the game is still intact. But in the same way, I saw other things as well, which surprised me, but in the same way. It’s part of the business, because if you see the world, how it is at the moment, it’s all business.”

On leaving the stadium early against Rayo Vallecano

“Piers, I will be honest with you, it’s something that I regret, to leave the stadium (against Tottenham). Probably, or maybe no, I don’t know.

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“It’s difficult to tell you 100 per cent but let’s say I regret [it], but in the same way I felt provoked by the coach. It is not allowed for a coach to put me in [for] three minutes in a game. Sorry, I’m not that kind of player. I know what I can give to the team.”

On the Vallecano incident, Ronaldo added: “Me and eight players [left early], but they mentioned only my name… everyone did that. Last year, many players did the same.

“In that game, eight players do the same but they only speak about the black sheep which is me. I completely understand. Okay, it’s done, I apologise to the coach and for me, the chapter was closed.”

On his relationship with Erik Ten Hag

“The feeling he always mentioned to me, that I didn’t need the pre-season, so I should wait for my opportunity, I really understand that. But I’m not going to give you points, you don’t do the same procedure to every player. I’m not going to mention players, but they don’t do it the same way.

“Second, I understand that [taking over] a new job, Manchester was so bad the last five years that it should make them clean the house – let’s say in that way. But the way they approach, the way the press make this so big, it’s because probably the communication wasn’t the best.

“But I really understand in the beginning because I didn’t do the pre-season, I don’t start to play. But going further than that, other things happen that people don’t know [about], and I’m not hiding that the empathy with the coach is not good. I’m honest.

“He don’t respect the way I should deserve [it]. But it is what it is. This is why probably, the game against Tottenham, I left.”

On his absence during the 6-3 loss against Manchester City

“Excuses, I see as excuses. I saw many things that I don’t want to criticise him [for]. He can have different opinions to me. They choose the players that they think are better for the team. I respect that, but excuses all the time, you know; the excuses have short legs and you cannot excuse all the time, which is things that don’t make sense.

“Okay, you don’t put me [on] against Manchester City because of respect of my career and you want to put me [on for] three minutes against Tottenham. It doesn’t make sense…

“I think he did it on purpose because, for example, in a national team and [at] the other clubs, if the coach wants to put me [on for] five minutes, if someone was injured or if they really needed me, I will help. But in that way I felt provoked not only because of that game, but before.”

On being left out against Chelsea

“I think it was a strategy from the club for me to react that way. I was very, very, very, very disappointed with the communication of Manchester United. To be honest, I never had a problem with any club, with any coach.

“And they suspend me for three days, which I felt it was a lot – and the level of sport, clubs, I felt a lot. It was a shame.”

On Ronaldo Jr’s reaction to him being left out against Chelsea

On how his eldest son was in disbelief at his suspension from the squad:

“I remember arriving home and Cristiano Jr saw me and said, ‘Daddy, do not go to the game?’ I say, ‘No, because the club punish me with three days [suspension]’ And he did like *laughs*, ‘How they’re going to punish you if you are the best player in the world and you’re not going to play?’ I said, ‘No I’m not going to play because I have not been behaving’. And he look at me like, ‘My Daddy, not be behave, what?’

“In one way, I was good because I was like, more relaxed, but in the same way, I feel very disappointed because, okay, I regret [it], I apologise, I’m not perfect, I made a mistake. But suspending me for three games, for that, I think it’s too much. And then they make fire for the press, which really disappointed me.

“Don’t tell me that the top players, the guys who want everything, the key players, will play three minutes. Come on, this is unacceptable after what they keep saying before, that they respect me, that they do this, they do that.

“For me it was not respect, this is why I take this decision I regret. I apologised to my teammates for the situation, I did a post on Instagram, saying I regretted leaving the stadium. My teammates know what I felt, and I apologised, but in the same way, I don’t regret to take the decision to not come on.

“The coach didn’t have respect for me. So this is why the relationship, it’s in that way. He keep saying in the press that he come to me, he like me blah, blah, blah, but that is only for the press, 100 per cent. If you don’t have respect for me, I’m never going to have respect for you.”

On his future at or away from Manchester United

“It’s difficult to tell right now, because my mood is, right now, [focused on] the World Cup. It’s probably my last World Cup, of course, my fifth World Cup.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen after the World Cup, but as I told you before, and I will say again, the fans will always be in my heart. And I hope they will be by my side, even if I [come] back, or if I’m not back, or if I stay or whatever.

“Nobody’s perfect. Episodes in the life we all have is part of being human beings, is part of me being a human being and [being a] father as well. I always will commit mistakes.

“But I don’t know, it’s hard to tell right now what’s going to happen after the World Cup because my focus is for the World Cup, for the Portugal national team.”

Ronaldo continued: “When I arrived at Manchester United, I always wanted to be available to help the team and to do the good things, to put [them] in the right spots, to compete with the best teams. But it’s hard when they cut your legs and they don’t like you to shine and they don’t listen to your advice.

“I think I have words to advise to the club because the trophies are one individual and collective. I think I can help a lot, but when the infrastructure is not good…”

On the offer from Saudi Arabia:

“It’s true, yes, it’s true. But what the press keep saying, the garbage, is that nobody wants me, which is completely wrong.

“And I was happy here to be honest, I was motivated to do a great season here [at United]. But they continue to repeat that nobody wants Cristiano. How they don’t want a player who scored 32 goals last year, [including] with the national team?”

On turning down the big-money offer from Saudi Arabia:

“It’s hard, it’s hard. But in the same way, I thought that I was very happy here; that I am still capable of scoring goals.

“I still believe that I can score many, many goals and help the team because I still believe that I’m still good and capable to help national team – even Manchester United. But if you don’t feel around you that the energy’s on your side, it’s difficult.

“Of course, the criticism is going to exist all the time. ‘Ah he’s 37, he’s not the same’. But I want to see if some guy of my age can maintain the level that I show.

“Yes, in this moment, I feel very, very good…. I believe that I’m going to do an amazing World Cup, and I’m prepared, physically and mentally.”

On the longevity of his career and if he can still play at the top level:

“For me it’s a stupid question. What do people say? They are not the same. Nobody is the same. Day by day we’re getting old. Every one of us, you understand, it is normal.

“You have to adapt, and I think nobody in this game has this brain that adapts with his age. I’m not. I don’t want to be cocky to say that I’m the same as when I was 20. Of course, no.

“But I adapt and be smart to know my strength, what I’m good to do. And I’m still playing at the high level and I score goals, and I will continue to score goals, if my mind is clear and happy.

“And if the people surrounding me, they’re helping me to be a successful player, especially the coach, the president, the directors. But when you feel that the energy doesn’t go around you it’s difficult for you to be yourself, which is what’s happened with me.

“But what they say the last three months is completely garbage and wrong. They say that they offer me this and that, and many presidents and directors speak about, they reject me. It’s a complete lie, they lie, because this is not what’s happened. I have many clubs, not many, a few clubs that they want me to sign and I didn’t go because I feel comfortable here. This is the truth.”

On the criticism he will face for doing the interview:

“They criticise me when I don’t speak, so of course they’re going to criticise me when I do speak – even more. But it’s something that I can deal with, that. I know I’m going to be disappointing for a few people. Maybe I’m going to make up a few people,” Ronaldo said

“But it is what it is. The life is completely difficult, we have obstacles in our lives, and I will keep running to fight against the people who don’t believe me, and the life is a challenge, and I want people to know they’re wrong.

“It’s hard, it’s hard for me to say that I will not be back to Manchester United. But regardless, as you say, it’s… let’s see what’s going to happen.

“But as I told you before, the fans, for me, always will be on my side, will be always in my heart. I see during the days when I go to the streets, the love, the passion, that people have for me, the respect. I hope that they never forget the things that I will continue to do. Not only in the past, but in the present, too.

“Manchester will be always on my side, the fans will be always on my side; it doesn’t matter what’s going to happen. And I appreciate the love that they send for me all the time, even when I’m done playing.

“Even when they criticise me they always will be in my heart. So thank you for all the support. I hope to see you soon. And they always will be in my heart.”

On what Sir Alex Ferguson would make of recent events:

“I haven’t spoken to him for like one month, but he’s always on my side. He always understand me. He knows that, he knows better than anybody that the club is not on the path they deserve to be. He knows. Everyone knows.

“The people who don’t see that is because they don’t want to see; they are blamed. The fans, they are always the answer, and the passion for the game. Manchester [United] belongs to the fans, but they should know the truth. The infrastructure [is] not good. They should change,” Ronaldo said 

On the World Cup and his goals:

“I am very optimistic. We [Portugal] have a fantastic coach and we have a good generation of football players. I’m looking forward that we’re going to it, an amazing World Cup.

“[It’s] going be tough. Extremely difficult. But everything is possible. But of course we’re going to compete.”

On the World Cup being staged in Qatar and the controversy:

“All the national teams, all the people, [they need to be] welcomed in Qatar, and I see a good tournament, to be honest. I think Qatar; they are prepared. They are prepared for that, and it will be weird to play in the beginning of the season. Yes. But in the same way, a challenge. I think it’s, to be honest, good. I feel good. I feel with good energy,” Ronaldo confessed

Ronaldo’s Thoughts On Lionel Messi:

“He is an amazing player. Magic. Top. As a person, we share the stage 16 years. Imagine 16 years. So, I have great relationship with him. I’m not a friend of him, in terms of what I mean as a friend who was with you in your house or speaking on the phone.

“No, but it’s like a teammate. He’s a guy that I really respect the way he always speaks about me. Even his wife or my wife, my girlfriend, they always have respect and they’re from Argentina.

“My girlfriend is from Argentina. So good. What I am going to say about Messi? A great guy who does great things for football.”

On if he would like Arsenal to win the Premier League:

“Manchester [United] first, and if not, Arsenal is some team that I like to see play. I like the team. I like the coach. I think they have a good team. And if Manchester United don’t win the Premier League, I will be happy if Arsenal do.”

On his retirement plans:

“I want to play two years more, three years more. So two or three years maximum. I want to finish at 40. I think 40 will be a good age… but I don’t know, I don’t know the future.

“Sometimes you plan one thing for your life and as I said many times, the life is dynamic and you never know what’s going to happen.”

On his friendship with controversial internet star Jordan Peterson:

“I’m a huge fan of his. I read his book, 12 Rules, and I felt that he’s a really interesting guy and I love to meet smart people. [He is a] fantastic man. And I learned a lot. He gave me some advice.

“We had a nice, strategic conversation. Not only for the moment of my life, not only for football, because my life is not all football; I am a businessman. I have many important things in my life. And when you are surrounded with these people with you, people that make your life more interesting, they reach something in your daily life,” Ronaldo said 

“I appreciate [that] because it’s that kind of people that think outside the box, which I appreciate. We had a nice conversation, strategic conversation.”

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Arsh Das
Arsh Das
A music enthusiast, also passionate about football and bringing you the latest in the sporting world every day.
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