- Erik ten Hag has spoken about his saga with Cristiano Ronaldo
- He says Ronaldo never told him about his intention to leave the club
- He also had a conversation with him regarding this only for him to appear for an interview
Erik ten Hag, the Manchester United manager has opened up for the first time about Cristiano Ronaldo following his hard-hitting interview with Piers Morgan on TalkTV in November.
Ronaldo, 37, criticised ten Hag during the interview. One of the biting issues is he spoke about was the apparent ‘lack of respect’ between him and the manager.
When Manchester United defeated Tottenham 2-0 in October, the team’s striker refused to come off the bench, forcing ten Hag to reprimand him.
In the end, Ronaldo expressed regret and resumed playing for the first team the following week, but he is still angry at Ten Hag. He was benched, and the manager said this decision came from top ranks in the club who cited that United is bigger than a single player.
During the interview with Morgan, Ronaldo said he could only respect a manager who respects him in return.
“I don’t have respect for him because he doesn’t show respect for me. If you don’t have respect for me, I’m never gonna have respect for you,” he said.
The aftermath was Ronaldo leaving Manchester United before the lapse of his two-year tenure with the Red Devils.
After this drama, ten Hag says he never wanted Ronaldo gone, although it was obvious that he wanted to leave. The manager says that the hardest part is when the player is certain that he does not want to be a part of a team.
Shockingly, he always had a conversation with Ronaldo about his leaving, but the Portuguese never told him of his intention to leave the club.
Instead, he went for the interview, knowing well what would happen next. Ten Hag added that he spoke with Ronaldo about his future in the summer and that the striker’s future included staying at Manchester United.
“In the summer, we had one talk. He came in and said ‘I will tell you in seven days if I want to stay’. Then he came back and said ‘I want to stay’. Until that moment (the interview), I never heard anything.
“During the season there was no window, but until that moment, he never told me ‘I want to leave’. You don’t have to see it,” he noted.
The club is looking ahead and moving on even with Ronaldo’s exit. He desires to see a new Manchester United in the future, and he would have loved to have Ronaldo in it, but he chose another path.
Also, according to Ten Hag, if Ronaldo had been in better physical shape, the team might have succeeded
He remarked that he is a good player when he is in shape, and he could have aided their comeback and helped them accomplish their goals. But it was fairly obvious he wasn’t interested in being at United.
In 16 appearances this season across all competitions for Manchester United, Ronaldo produced three goals and two assists.
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