Cristiano Ronaldo insists he may speak when he wishes amid interview backlash

Cristiano Ronaldo closing in on Manchester United move after talks with Sir Alex Ferguson
Cristiano Ronaldo closing in on Manchester United move after talks with Sir Alex Ferguson - IMAGO / ZUMA Press

Manchester United attacker Cristiano Ronaldo has fired back at critics who question the timing of his controversial interview with TalkTV host Piers Morgan.

The Portugal international had granted a bombshell interview to the TV host that was aired last week, in which he criticised his club and manager for how they have handled things since he returned to Old Trafford.

The interview has drawn a lot of comments and reactions from pundits and fans. However, Ronaldo has remained defiant, stating that he has the right to speak when he wants 

Speaking in a press conference in Qatar ahead of Portugal’s first World Cup game, the 37-year-old said:

“Timing is always timing. From your side, it is easy to look at how we can choose timings. Sometimes you write truths; sometimes, you write lies.

“I don’t have to worry about what others think. I talk when I want to.”

Ronaldo also clarified an incident between him and Manchester United team-mate Bruno Fernandes, in which it was assumed that Fernandes had given him the cold shoulder in the Portugal locker room.

Ronaldo said: “We were playing around last week. His plane was late – I asked him did you come by boat.

“Please, don’t ask players about me – ask about the World Cup.”

Although Ronaldo has been widely criticised for his interview by pundits and former players, former Arsenal defender William Gallas has offered some sympathy to the player.

The Frenchman found himself in a “similar situation” at Tottenham and offered some perspective to how he felt.

Speaking to Genting Casino via Football365, Gallas said: “I was in a similar situation when I was playing for Tottenham under Andre Villas-Boas. I was the captain and I played all the games for the first part of the season.

“Then I got injured just before Christmas, but when I recovered, I had a conversation with him because his attitude had changed with me. I told him to be honest with me about my playing time.

“I said to him ‘if you don’t need me, please can you let me go’. I had the opportunity to leave Tottenham in the January 2013 window and join a club where I would play every week. I was 36 at the time.