Cristiano Ronaldo: Is he leaving Man Utd? Contract situation, previous fines and family grief explained
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Cristiano Ronaldo’s controversial TV interview with Piers Morgan could mark the end of his time as a Manchester United player.
It’s difficult to see a way back for Ronaldo after he publicly criticised United’s owners, manager, training facilities and former players. But it’s not a transfer saga that will be sorted quickly, with Ronaldo currently with the Portugal squad and set to travel to Qatar this week.
He won’t be back at United until December at the earliest, although Portugal’s success at the World Cup could see him remain away from the club scene until the latter stages of December. And there are plenty of burning questions surrounding Ronaldo and his situation - we’ve taken a look at some of the key questions around the United striker’s future.
When does Ronaldo’s contract expire?
Ronaldo’s current deal at United expires in June 2023, although United do hold the right to extend it by an additional year, an option which looks unlikely at this stage.
Could Ronaldo leave in January?
It seems that is Ronaldo’s obvious intention, with reports claiming the club are considering legal action to resolve the ongoing issue. ManchesterWorld understands that United officials do not want Ronaldo to represent the club again, but finding an alternative poses its own issues.
Last summer, Ronaldo failed to get the move away from Old Trafford that he desired, with Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Napoli, Borussia Dortmund, Atletico Madrid and Sporting Lisbon all linked with a move for the Portugal attacker. Therefore, even if both parties wish to go their separate ways, finding a new club in the winter window may prove problematic.
Ronaldo’s previous misdemeanours - was he fined?
Ronaldo was among a number of players who left Old Trafford early during the club’s pre-season friendly against Rayo Vallecano in August. Ten Hag branded Ronaldo and his team-mate’s actions as ‘unacceptable’ at the time.
The former Real Madrid and Juventus star was also left out of squad for last month’s match against Chelsea after he refused to come off the bench in the 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur. Ronaldo also walked straight down the tunnel and was forced to train with the Under-21s squad, while he was reportedly fined for the incident.
Ten Hag allowed Ronaldo to return to the team but did warn there would be ‘consequences’ to his actions. United’s No.7 played in the following game, a 3-0 win over Sheriff Tiraspol in the Europa League, with Ronaldo netting the third goal at Old Trafford.
Ronaldo’s record this season
Ronaldo has played 16 times this season for United in all competitions, but has scored just three goals. He netted home and away against Sheriff, one of which was a penalty, while he also got on the scoresheet in the 2-1 win over Everton on 9 October.
Will Ronaldo play at the World Cup?
Ronaldo has been included in Portugal’s 26-man squad, but whether he will play is another matter. The country’s all-time leading scorer has single-handedly carried the expectation of a nation in previous tournaments, but approaches the World Cup in such poor form that he is not a guaranteed starter.
The likes of Joao Felix, Rafael Leao and Andre Silva will provide real competition for places in what is likely to be Ronaldo’s final chance of winning a World Cup.
Ronaldo’s family grief and loss
During the interview with TalkTV, Ronaldo cited his daughter being in hospital with bronchitis as the reason he missed the majority of pre-season, while he said he felt ‘betrayed’ by the club. In April, the Portugal international also announced the tragic news that his son had died in childbirth.
“It is with our deepest sadness that we have to announce that our baby boy has passed away,” Ronaldo and partner Georgina Rodriguez said in a statement earlier this year. “It is the greatest pain that any parents can feel. Only the birth of our baby girl gives us the strength to live this moment with some hope and happiness.”
Speaking in a new clip from the interview, which was released on Tuesday night, Ronaldo described that period as the ‘worst moment’ since the death of his father. “When you have a kid you expect everything will be normal and when you have a problem it’s hard. Me and Gio [Georgina] had difficult moments,” he said. “It was very, very difficult to understand what is going on in that period of my life.
What happened in Ronaldo’s interview with Piers Morgan?
During the interview with the TV presenter, Ronaldo said he had no respect for United manager Erik ten Hag, criticised the appointment of Ralf Rangnick and also claimed that the Glazers ‘don’t care’ about the club. In addition, Ronaldo took a swipe at Gary Neville and Wayne Rooney, with the forward claiming they were not his ‘friends’.
The full interview will be shown on TalkTV across Wednesday and Thursday night, and all the details can be found here on how to watch the extended chat with Morgan.