Manchester United say they have initiated “appropriate measures” following Cristiano Ronaldo’s comments in a controversial interview.
The club decided to wait until Ronaldo’s interview was fully aired before responding. Ronaldo recently sat down with Piers Morgan, and the final part of the interview was made public in the UK on Thursday.
During the 90-minute debate, Ronaldo criticized Man United manager Erik ten Hague, his teammates and the club’s owners.
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“Manchester United has this morning initiated appropriate measures in response to Cristiano Ronaldo’s recent media interview,” the club said on Friday. “We will not comment further until this process has been concluded.”
Ronaldo, 37, traveled to Qatar as he prepares for his fifth World Cup appearance with Portugal. Once the World Cup is over, the forward cannot return to Old Trafford Stadium.
Many considered Ronaldo’s position with the club untenable even before the full interview was released.
It has previously been believed that salary demands have created potential barriers as it relates to transferring footballers. But if Ronaldo is found to be in breach of his contract, it could pave the way for the cancellation of his contract.
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United officials claim they had no idea Ronaldo had interviewed Morgan and waited until he appeared on talk TV before determining the club’s legal position.
United manager Ten Hague and Ronaldo have had a turbulent relationship since the end of last season.
Ten Hague apparently forced Ronaldo to train away from the squad after the forward refused to enter the match against Tottenham as a substitute.
“I think he doesn’t respect. [me] The way I deserve,” Ronaldo said. “But it is what it is. Maybe that’s why the game against Tottenham, I left. … That’s why I say I don’t respect him, because he doesn’t respect me.”
Ronaldo did not move to a Champions League club during the off-season, which means he could move in the January transfer window.
“If I come back, I will be the same Cristiano. But I hope that people will be with me and let me shine as I did in all the clubs and all the years,” he said.
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Portugal will open their World Cup campaign on November 24 against Ghana.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.