Cristiano Ronaldo is a “smart guy” and was aware his shocking interview with Piers Morgan would end his Manchester United career.
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That’s according to Morgan, who has been discussing his chat with the Portugal star on American TV. Ronaldo’s contract was terminated after the player launched a number of stinging attacks at United in the interview this month.
Ronaldo is now on the hunt for a new team, with Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr keen to sign the 37-year-old. No decision on his future is expected until after Portugal’s World Cup campaign ends in Qatar.
Ronaldo hit the headlines after claiming United’s owners the Glazers “don’t care” about the Premier League and saying he “doesn’t respect” Erik ten Hag. The forward also slammed ex-United employees Gary Neville, Wayne Rooney and Rangnick.
Morgan has spoken to several media outlets since the first quotes from his talkTV interview were published two weeks ago. He has now told American TV channel FS1 that Ronaldo organised the interview – and the attacker “knew” what he was doing.
“To be brutally honest, I think that he knew,” said Morgan. “Look, he’s a very smart guy, Cristiano, he knows what he’s doing.
“He and I have built a relationship going back a few years now, and when he rang me he was like – ‘I want to do an interview, I want to say everything’. I said, ‘If you say everything I think you’re going to say, then you’re probably going to have to leave the club’.
“He went, ‘I know’. So he knew what he was getting into. He didn’t think it was a certainty, he didn’t want to say in the interview I’m definitely leaving, I’m going to leave United.
“But this was a guy who at the end of his tenure felt he was being disrespected by the coach, Ten Hag, by the owners who he said he’d never even met [and] by the executives of the club who didn’t even believe him when he said his daughter was sick.
“So you put it all together you’ve got a disrespected guy who I think is the best to ever play the game. He said enough.”