Blankety Blank, cynicism, nostalgia and bombshells: the Ronaldo interview fallout continues

Cristiano Ronaldo on Portugal duty for the World Cup after an explosive interview burned his bridges at Manchester United Credit: Alamy
Cristiano Ronaldo on Portugal duty for the World Cup after an explosive interview burned his bridges at Manchester United Credit: Alamy

Yeah, it’s still all about that Cristiano Ronaldo interview, we’re afraid. Mediawatch can only work with what it’s given.


Blankety Blank
We’re now resigned to the fact that it’s just going to be wall-to-wall Ronaldo guff for the rest of the week now, until the blessed relief of an unloveable, tainted World Cup comes along. Sometimes this job isn’t as fun as it should be.

Further EXPLOSIVE revelations from Ronaldo’s BOMBSHELL INTERVIEW with Piers Morgan adorn the front and back pages of The Sun and it’s fair to say that the best bits all got used up on day one. Quite why anyone would bother tuning in to 90 minutes of this self-serving circle-jerk between a pair of irredeemable narcissists is well beyond us, but there we go.

The best The Sun can come up with for a fresh front-page (that’s front page, of what purports to be a national newspaper, at a time when there are at least a dozen actual national and international crises going on) angle is that Cristiano Ronaldo is not friends with Gary Neville. “He uses me for fame,” farts 37-year-old toddler Ronaldo, talking about Neville in a TV interview he requested in order to air his assorted grievances. I guess self-awareness is a bit of a limiting condition in elite athletes like Ronaldo used to be, but this is still a bit rich.

Great headline, though. WHY I BLANKED GARY NEVILLE may be an absurd thing to be considered the biggest news story in the United Kingdom even at the best of times (and these are not the best of times), but it would make for a first-rate round of a popular Saturday night TV show.


Friends like these
Reading the reams of Ronaldo-related copy in The Sun (and we are at least self-aware to realise we are contributing to the nonsense ourselves just by mentioning it) the thought quickly occurs that if there is any winner from this tawdry dignity-shedding exercise in grievance-airing then it is Piers Morgan.

He’s the only possible beneficiary of the sorry exercise, grasping gleefully and desperately at the chance to be fleetingly relevant again having discovered to his horror that nobody really missed him at all once he huffed away in, well, distinctly Ronaldo-esque fashion from proper television that people actually watch. The man quite literally cannot believe his luck, but you do have to wonder if a true likely friend wouldn’t have tried to stop his likely friend from making such a gigantic great legacy-destroying arse of himself.


The whole thing has become startling reminiscent of that bit in Father Ted where the titular character uses his Golden Cleric acceptance speech to just slag off everyone who has wronged him in the past. “And now we move on to liars…”

Inevitably, though, Ronaldo does land some convincing blows against a football club that still has major problems. What he can’t quite do is make the logical leap that reveals he is one of them.

“The Glazers, they don’t – they don’t care about the club. I mean professional sport.

“As you know this, Manchester is a marketing club. They will get the money from the marketing. The sport, it’s… they don’t really care, in my opinion.”

That’s fair enough, but if anyone can think of a more crystallisingly perfect single example of Manchester United making decisions on commercial rather than sporting considerations than “Re-signing a fading, truculent, petulant Cristiano Ronaldo” then we’d love to hear it.

Manchester United supporters protesting the Glazers Credit: Alamy
Manchester United supporters protesting the Glazers Credit: Alamy

I’m a professional cynic but my heart’s not in it
There’s a fair bit of cake-ism going on at The Sun today, as the front page plus pages four and five revel in Ronaldo’s BOMBSHELL INTERVIEW and provide extensive instructions on how precisely normal people who have quite rightly never watched Talk TV can tune in to the full 90 (90!) minutes of ego-stroking narcissists in conversation (sorry, BOMBSHELL conversation) on a channel that was, entirely coincidentally, founded by Rupert Murdoch and is owned by News Corp, while the back pages tut at what a prick Ronaldo is and how United must get rid.

Dave Kidd puts the boot right in: “We always knew Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford, 14 months ago, was based on nostalgia from United’s perspective.”

Quite right. So it must have been a different Dave Kidd who said in August last year that “United will become a must-watch once again, so anyone viewing Ronaldo’s signing with cynicism is no true lover of football.”

Or “His signing will thrill every United supporter and intrigue every other follower of the Premier League.”

Or “Heading into the white heat of a four-horse Premier League title race, Ronaldo’s ambition remains undimmed.”

Or “At 36… Manchester United’s returning A-lister shows no sign of winding down.”


It’s the BOMB
“PIERS MORGAN’S BOMBSHELL INTERVIEW: Pages 4 and 5” The Sun, front page, November 15

“EXCLUSIVE: BOMBSHELL PIERS MORGAN INTERVIEW” The Sun, pages four and five, November 15

“In a bombshell TalkTV interview with Piers Morgan, Ronaldo delivered a damning assessment of the Red Devils.” The Sun, back page, November 15

“How to watch Cristiano Ronaldo’s BOMBSHELL interview with Piers Morgan.” The Sun, November 15

“Man Utd new LIVE: Ten Hag MEETING with board after Cristiano Ronaldo BOMBSHELL Piers Morgan interview” The Sun, November 14

“The bombshell interview sparked fury at Man U, and bosses are ready to rip up his contract.” The Sun, November 15

“Elsewhere in the BOMBSHELL interview, Ronaldo, 37, says he feels betrayed.” The Sun, November 15

“Following Ronaldo’s bombshell interview, Sporting manager Ruben Amorim said: ‘Everyone at Sporting likes him and therefore there’s not a lot to say about this.'” The Sun, November 14

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