Fernandes coolly receives Ronaldo in the Portugal locker room
Bruno Fernandes did not seem too pleased to see his Manchester United teammate Cristiano Ronaldo as the two stars linked for international duty with Portugal at the World Cup in Qatar. Ronaldo has made tongues wag after the publication of an explosive interview with Piers Morgan, in which he has lifted the lid on his annoyance with the club.
In images shared on social media Monday night from the Portugal camp, Ronaldo attempts to greet Fernandes with a handshake. And although the midfielder accepts, Ronaldo’s mouth drops open when Fernandes appears to give him the coldest of greetings. Fernandes speaks briefly with Ronaldo, before looking back with a scornful look at the five-time Ballon d’Or winner and walking away from him to join his other teammates.
Whether there is more to the clip than meets the eye remains to be seen, but it certainly seems to hint that Ronaldo’s comments have not gone down entirely well with those who represent United.
The first clips of the interview with Morgan began to leak on Sunday, with Ronaldo claiming he felt ‘betrayed’ by the Red Devils, with the superstar fighting to break into Erik ten Hag’s team so far this season.
Asked if he felt United were trying to kick him out of the club, Ronaldo said: “Yes, not just the manager. [Ten Hag] but the other two or three guys around the club. Yes [at senior executive level]. I felt betrayed.
“I have no respect for him (Ten Hag) because he shows no respect for me. If you have no respect for me, I will never have respect for you.”
Ronaldo went even further in a snippet shared on Monday, stating that the club did not believe he was telling the truth when he skipped the team’s pre-season tour to tend to his sick newborn daughter.
“I spoke with the board and the president of Manchester United,” he continued. “They kind of didn’t believe something was wrong, which made me feel bad. They believed, but in the same way, I’m never going to trade my family’s health for soccer. Never. Now, or ten years ago, or forward .
“It’s something that hurt a lot because they doubted my word and that I fought, especially Belle and Jill. I didn’t go to preseason for that, because I wouldn’t let anything happen to my family during preseason. I don’t think it’s fair, and that’s why I didn’t go.”
It remains to be seen whether Ronaldo and Fernandes’ seemingly damaged relationship will hurt Portugal’s World Cup bid. The European giants take on Ghana in their first match at the World Cup on November 24.
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