Cristiano Ronaldo breaks silence on Man United interview in shock press conference appearance

Cristiano Ronaldo breaks silence on Man United interview in shock press conference appearance

Cristiano Ronaldo this morning made a surprise media appearance in which he hit back at criticism over his explosive Manchester United interview with Piers Morgan, describing himself as “bullet-proof”.

In the interview, which aired in full last week, Ronaldo claimed he does not respect Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag and criticised the club over a lack of ambition.

United are reportedly exploring legal options in order to terminate the forward’s contract, with the fallout causing heavy distraction on the eve of Portugal’s World Cup campaign.

In Pictures | Cristiano Ronaldo

(REUTERS)
(REUTERS)
Manchester United (Manchester United via Getty Images)
Manchester United (Manchester United via Getty Images)
Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United poses with Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after signing his contract with the club at Carrington Training Ground (Manchester United via Getty Images)
Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United poses with Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after signing his contract with the club at Carrington Training Ground (Manchester United via Getty Images)
Manchester United training session (Manchester United via Getty Images)
Manchester United training session (Manchester United via Getty Images)
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag chats with Christiano Ronaldo of Manchester United during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Manchester United and Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford (Getty Images)
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag chats with Christiano Ronaldo of Manchester United during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Manchester United and Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford (Getty Images)
Portugal's forward Cristiano Ronaldo scores his team's third goal during the UEFA EURO 2020 Group F football match between Hungary and Portugal at the Puskas Arena in Budapest on June 15, 2021 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Portugal's forward Cristiano Ronaldo scores his team's third goal during the UEFA EURO 2020 Group F football match between Hungary and Portugal at the Puskas Arena in Budapest on June 15, 2021 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Juventus' Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo holds the cup after Juevntus won the final of the Italian Cup (Coppa Italia) football match Atalanta vs Juventus at the Citta del Tricolore stadium in Reggio Emilia. (AFP via Getty Images)
Juventus' Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo holds the cup after Juevntus won the final of the Italian Cup (Coppa Italia) football match Atalanta vs Juventus at the Citta del Tricolore stadium in Reggio Emilia. (AFP via Getty Images)
Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group B match between Portugal and Spain at Fisht Stadium on 15th June 2018 in Sochi, Russia (Getty Images)
Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group B match between Portugal and Spain at Fisht Stadium on 15th June 2018 in Sochi, Russia (Getty Images)
Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates with the Premier League trophy in 2009 (Man Utd via Getty Images)
Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates with the Premier League trophy in 2009 (Man Utd via Getty Images)
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo lifts The UEFA Champions League trophy following his sides victory in the 2018 UEFA Champions League Final vs Liverpool at NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine (Getty Images)
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo lifts The UEFA Champions League trophy following his sides victory in the 2018 UEFA Champions League Final vs Liverpool at NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine (Getty Images)
Sir Alex Ferguson greets Cristiano Ronaldo as the young Portugese player signs for Manchester United at the Carrington Training Ground, Carrington on August 12, 2003 i (Man Utd via Getty Images)
Sir Alex Ferguson greets Cristiano Ronaldo as the young Portugese player signs for Manchester United at the Carrington Training Ground, Carrington on August 12, 2003 i (Man Utd via Getty Images)

While Ronaldo did not make mention of the national team, the timing of the interview’s release has raised eyebrows, though Portugal boss Fernando Santos insisted he did not expect the saga to negatively effect his side’s chances.

“In my life, the best timing is always my timing. From your side it is easy to look at how we can chose timings. Sometimes you write truths, sometimes you write lies. I don’t have to think about what other people think. I speak when I want.

“The players know me really well for many years and know the type of person I am. It’s an ambitious group that is hungry and focused. So I’m sure (the interview) won’t shake the changing room’s concentration and focus.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Ronaldo appeared alongside United teammate Bruno Fernandes, who rejected suggestions of animosity between the pair after a video of an awkward-looking handshake went viral on social media.

Fernandes claimed he was “just playing around”, explaining: “His plane was late - I asked him did you come by boat”.

Ronaldo missed last week’s warm-up friendly against Nigeria because of a stomach bug but has since returned to training and expects to be fit to face Ghana in Portugal’s opener on Thursday.

“I’m feeling great, I’m recovered and I’m training well and ready to start the World Cup in the best way possible,” Ronaldo said. “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.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

“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.”

At 37, this is almost certain to be Ronaldo’s last World Cup and his final chance to lift the one trophy missing from his CV. Long-time rival Lionel Messi is in a similar position with Argentina but Ronaldo dismissed the idea that winning the tournament would finish the debate over which of the pair is the greatest player of all-time.