Cristiano Ronaldo said he felt “betrayed” by Manchester United as manager Erik ten Hag and other senior executives tried to force him out of the club in an explosive interview on Sunday.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has been a peripheral figure on United’s pitch since Ten Hag took over in May.
Ronaldo was disciplined after refusing to come on as a substitute in last month’s 2-0 win over Tottenham, but has returned to the side in recent weeks and even captained the Red Devils in last weekend’s 3-1 defeat at Aston Villa.
However, the 37-year-old was left out of the squad for Sunday’s 2-1 win over Fulham in United’s final game before the six-week World Cup break.
“I don’t respect him because he doesn’t show me respect,” Ronaldo said of Ten Hag in an interview on the Piers Morgan Uncensored TV show.
“Not only the coach, but also two or three other guys around the club. I felt betrayed.”
Asked again if the club’s chief executives were trying to get rid of him, Ronaldo replied: “Yes, I felt betrayed and I felt that some people didn’t want me here, not only this year but also last year.”
Ronaldo returned to Old Trafford in August 2021 from Juventus.
His first season at United was a glorious one under Alex Ferguson, winning three Premier League titles, the Champions League and his first ever Ballon d’Or for the world’s best player.
Despite scoring 24 goals in all competitions last season, United endured a terrible campaign, finishing sixth in the Premier League and failing to qualify for the Champions League.
It was reported that Ronaldo tried to make an exit before the start of this season, but could not find an agreement with another club.
“Since Sir Alex left, I didn’t see any evolution in the club. Nothing changed,” Ronaldo said of what he found on his return to United.
“I want the best for the club. That’s why I come to Manchester United.
“But internally you have some things that don’t help us like (Manchester) City, Liverpool and now Arsenal like (Manchester) City, Liverpool and now Arsenal… a club with this dimension should be in the top tier in my opinion and they are not unfortunately.” .
United are fifth in the Premier League, 11 points behind leaders Arsenal.