Cristiano Ronaldo said he will “talk when he wants” and that his bust-up with Manchester United won’t affect his Portugal team’s performance at the World Cup. 37-year-old Ronaldo claimed that he felt “betrayed by the club” and that he had “no respect” for Erik ten Hag as manager.
“In my life, the best timing is always my timing,” Ronaldo said on Monday.
The Portugal captain unexpectedly showed up at a press conference and declared, “I don’t have to bother about what other people think. Anytime I want, I talk. The players are quite familiar with who I am and have known me for a very long time.
“It’s an ambitious group that is hungry and focused. So I’m sure it [the interview] won’t shake the changing room’s concentration and focus.”
5-time winner of the Ballon d’Or will lead Portugal into their opening Group H game against Ghana on Thursday.
His Old Trafford deal, which pays him £500,000 per week, has just over seven months left on it, but United retains the option of terminating it, freeing the forward to sign with another team when the transfer window opens in January.
He hasn’t played since leading United to a 3-1 loss at Aston Villa on November 6 due to an unidentified ailment, but he claims to be in good shape for his fifth World Cup.
“I’m feeling great, I’m recovered and I’m training well and ready to start the World Cup in the best way possible,” said Ronaldo.
“I feel that this Portugal squad has amazing potential. I think we can win for sure, but we need to focus on the next game. So, it’s focusing in Ghana, get a win and go from there.
“We will see in the end who the best team is, but I believe Portugal is the best team in this World Cup. But we need to show it on the pitch.”