‘I speak when I want’: Cristiano Ronaldo unapologetic for timing of controversial interview

Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal poses during the official FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 portrait session on November 19, 2022 in Doha, Qatar.
(Image credit: Lars Baron - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Manchester United striker Cristiano Ronaldo has defended the timing of his explosive interview with Piers Morgan by saying: “I speak when I want”.

The Portugal captain has hogged the headlines in the build-up to international football’s biggest event after an extraordinary television appearance where he lashed out at his club.

Ronaldo said he felt “betrayed” by United, hit out at manager Erik ten Hag for lacking respect and criticised the Old Trafford hierarchy for failing to improve infrastructure, and he now looks almost certain to leave the club in the near future.

For now, the 37-year-old’s focus is on leading Portugal at the World Cup in Qatar, where they open their campaign against Ghana on Thursday, and the striker is unapologetic about causing a media storm on the eve of the tournament.

"In my life, the best timing is always my timing," Ronaldo said at a media conference on Monday. 

"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.

Manchester United striker Cristiano Ronaldo arrives for the Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur on 19 October, 2022 at Old Trafford, Manchester, United Kingdom

Cristiano Ronaldo's comments have caused anger and annoyance with Manchester United fans (Image credit: Manchester United via Getty Images)

"It's an ambitious group that is hungry and focused. I'm sure it [the interview] won't shake the changing room's concentration and focus."

Portugal are in Group H alongside Ghana, Uruguay and South Korea. Ronaldo hasn’t played since 6 November due to illness, but he says he’s recovered and has backed Portugal to go all the way in Qatar.

"I'm feeling great, I'm recovered and I'm training well and ready to start the World Cup in the best way possible," he said.

How will Portugal play at the World Cup?

Ronaldo feels the Portugal squad has amazing potential  (Image credit: Future)

"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."

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