Cristiano Ronaldo detailed his falling out with Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag in the final part of a 90-minute TV interview that aired Thursday, saying he left a game early this season because he felt “provoked” by the coach and accusing the Dutchman of lacking “empathy.”
Ronaldo’s future with United is up in the air after his incendiary interview with Piers Morgan for Britain’s TalkTV, but the Portugal star said he was open to returning to the club after World Cup — even though he acknowledged that a “new chapter” might be best for both sides.
A return seems highly unlikely after Ronaldo harshly criticized senior figures and teammates at the club in the first part of the interview on Wednesday. That trend continued when he tried to explain why he left a Premier League game against Tottenham before the final whistle after Ten Hag asked him to come off the bench for the final three minutes of the game.
Ronaldo said he felt some regret over walking down the tunnel, but that “I felt provoked by the coach.”
“It’s not allowed for me, (for) a coach to put me three minutes in a game,” said Ronaldo, who has won five Ballon d’Or awards as the world’s best player. “I’m sorry. I’m not that kind of player. I know what I can give to the team.”