Ronaldo imitated ‘bad’ Man Utd behaviour at World Cup as ‘irritated’ Portugal stars ‘kept quiet’

 Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Cristiano Ronaldo was reportedly ‘a constant source of irritation’ to the Portugal players and Football Federation during the 2022 World Cup.

The 37-year-old left Manchester United by mutual consent shortly before the tournament in Qatar.

He captained Portugal while unattached at club level, becoming only the second player to be a free agent and a skipper at a World Cup.

Ronaldo’s United exit came after an explosive interview with Piers Morgan for TalkTV.

The Real Madrid legend came out and heavily criticised Red Devils manager Erik ten Hag, as well as former interim boss Ralf Rangnick, legends Gary Neville and Wayne Rooney, and the overall infrastructure of the club.

It burned all bridges with the club – which is exactly what the player wanted – and left them with little choice but to get rid of him.

Ronaldo clearly felt he would still be able to join a top European club despite his poor performances in 2022-23.

This was not the case, however. A rubbish World Cup saw no clubs at his desired level come forward, resulting in a move to Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr.

Obviously, the 37-year-old has said he rejected “many clubs” to join Al-Nassr and that he was absolutely content with his decision to relocate to the middle east.

However, Portuguese outlet Publico has revealed some interesting details about his relationship with his agent Jorge Mendes and what went on at last year’s World Cup.

Starting off with Ronaldo’s World Cup campaign with Portugal; it is said that he was not the best captain.

The 37-year-old had his issues with United before that interview with Piers Morgan, with his ‘bad behaviour’ at club continuing when he linked up with his international teammates.

Having left United to become a free agent, Ronaldo needed to produce a ‘legendary’ World Cup to be considered by elite clubs around Europe.

Instead, it was the sort of tournament that would have been expected for a soon-to-be 38-year-old who lacks ‘rhythm’ and game time.

And ‘worse than that’, Ronaldo actually ‘replicated’ his childish behaviour at club level with Portugal.

The squad and Portuguese Football Federation apparently ‘hushed’ with the captain being ‘a constant source of irritation’, particularly after the game against South Korea.

It is worth mentioning that Ronaldo pulled a strop when substituted against the Asian side, with Portugal already guaranteed a spot in the last 16, which led to him being dropped to the bench for the last-16 tie against Switzerland.

The tell-all TalkTV interview apparently ‘accelarated’ Ronaldo’s United exit following ‘frequent’ instances of ‘bad behaviour’, some of which ‘were not made public’, which led to the Premier League club ‘complaining’ multiple times to Mendes.

The interview actually led to Mendes and Ronaldo parting ways, the report also claims.

Mendes basically told Ronaldo not to do the interview as the only top European club interested in his services were Manchester United, however, the player ignored his agent and did it anyway.

In a classic ‘I told you so’ moment, the interview saw Ronaldo leave United, with the only handsome offer he received as a free agent coming from Al-Nassr.

Ronaldo is attempting to convince the media that he was not short of offers, though there are multiple reports from reliable journalists and outlets that state no European clubs were interested.

READ MORE: Manchester United manufacture of the ‘Antony scale’ leaves Arsenal with Mudryk dilemma

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