Ronaldo regrets leaving stadium against Spurs, but insists Erik ten Hag provoked him

Cristiano Ronaldo and David de Gea of Manchester United
Cristiano Ronaldo and David de Gea of Manchester United

Manchester United attacker Cristiano Ronaldo has admitted he regrets refusing to get subbed on against Tottenham last month.

The Portugal international has been on the front pages of newspapers this past week after the release of his controversial interview with popular TalkTV host Piers Morgan.

In the latest episode of the sit-down talk, Ronaldo has revealed he regrets not coming on against Tottenham last month, although he also claimed that his three-day suspension was too harsh. 

In a 2-0 win over Spurs on October 19, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner refused to come on with three minutes on the clock; instead, he stormed down the tunnel before the final whistle.

Speaking about the incident, Ronaldo said;

“Piers, I will be honest with you. It’s something that I regret to leave from the stadium.

“Probably, or maybe no, I don’t know. It’s difficult to tell you 100 per cent but let’s say I regret it, but in the same way, I felt provoked by the coach. 

“Not allowed for me, a coach, to put me in three minutes in a game. Sorry, I’m not that kind of player. I know what I can give to teams.

“Okay, you don’t put me against Manchester City because of respect of your career, and you want to put me three minutes against Tottenham. It doesn’t make sense.

“I think he did it on purpose because, for example, in a national team, the other clubs, if the coach wants to put me five minutes, if someone is injured or if they really need me, I will help. But in that way, I felt provoked not only because of that game but before.” 

Following the incident, Ronaldo was suspended by the club for three days and was omitted from the squad for their 1-1 draw with Chelsea. But he was reintegrated into the squad after that incident, playing the full 90 minutes of their subsequent Premier League games against West Ham and Aston Villa – where he was captain. He also played 90 minutes of Europa League matches with FC Sheriff and Real Sociedad.

But he missed his side’s 2-1 win over Fulham due to illness on the day news and clips of the bombshell interview with Morgan broke. 

But despite being reintegrated into the squad by Erik Ten Hag, Ronaldo has insisted that the suspension the club handed him was unfair.

“I think it was a strategy from the club for me to react that way,” he stated.

“I was very, very, very, very disappointed for the communication of Manchester United. To be honest, I never had a problem with any club with any coach. 

“And they suspend me (for) three days, which I felt it was a lot – and the level of sport, clubs, I felt a lot. It was a shame that.

“I remember arriving home, and Cristiano saw me and said, “Daddy, do (you) not go to the game?” I said, “No because the club punished me with three days”.

“And he did like [laughs] “How they’re going to punish you if you are the best player in the world and you’re not gonna play?” I said, “No, I’m not going to play because I have not been behave”. And he looked at me like, ‘My Daddy not be behave, what?'”

He said: “In one way, I was good because I was, like, more relaxed, but in the same way, I feel very disappointed because, okay, I regret, I apologise, I’m not perfect, I made a mistake. 

“But suspend me three days for that. I think it’s too much. And then they make fire for the press, which really disappoints me.

“Don’t tell me that the top players, the guys who want everything, the key players will play three minutes. 

“Come on, this is unacceptable after what they keep saying before, that they respect me, that they do this, they do that. For me it was not respect, this is why I take this decision I regret. 

“I apologised to my teammates for the situation. I did a post, an Instagram, I regret to left from the stadium. I regret my teammates know what I felt, and I apologised to them, but in the same way, I’m not regret to take the decision to not come on. 

“The coach didn’t have respect for me. So this is why the relationship it’s in that way. He keeps saying in the press that he come to me, he like me blah, blah, blah, but that it’s only for the press. 100 per cent.’

He then added: “If you don’t have respect for me, I’m never going to have respect for you.”