Wayne Rooney breaks silence on Cristiano Ronaldo criticism and explosive Manchester United interview


    Wayne Rooney has responded to being slammed by the Man Utd striker
    Wayne Rooney has responded to being slammed by the Man Utd striker (Pictures: Getty)

    Wayne Rooney says he found Cristiano Ronaldo’s explosive comments a ‘bit strange’ and has backed Manchester United to ‘take action’ once they see the full interview.

    In a wide-ranging interview with TalkTV host Piers Morgan, Ronaldo hit out at Manchester United, saying he felt ‘betrayed’ by the club who he claimed were forcing him out.

    The 37-year-old, who completed a sensational return to Old Trafford in the summer of 2021, also said he does not trust manager Erik ten Hag and slammed former team-mates Rooney and Gary Neville for criticising him.

    ‘I don’t know why he criticises me so badly… probably because he finished his career and I’m still playing at a high level,’ Ronaldo said of Rooney.

    ‘I’m not going to say that I’m looking better than him. Which is true…’

    Ronaldo, who has won five Ballon d’Or awards during his extraorindary career, also appeared to call Rooney a ‘rat’.

    When Morgan suggested that Rooney and other Manchester United greats only criticise him out of jealousy, Ronaldo added: ‘Well, not only him, imagine the rest of the rats that are going to criticise me too!’

    Ronaldo dropped several bombshells in his interview with Piers Morgan
    Ronaldo dropped several bombshells in his interview with Piers Morgan (Picture: TalkTV)

    Responding to Ronaldo’s outburst, Rooney told CNN: ‘Cristiano is a fantastic player. Him and [Lionel] Messi are probably the two best players to play the game.

    ‘It’s not criticism, what I’ve said is age comes to all of us, Cristiano is finding it hard to deal with that.

    ‘He’s done an interview and it’s gone global. Some of the comments are a bit strange but I’m sure Man United will deal with it once they see the full interview and take whatever action they need to take.’

    Ronaldo scored 24 goals in 38 appearances last season but has largely found himself on the sidelines under new manager Ten Hag.

    The Portugal superstar tried to leave Old Trafford last summer and will revive his efforts in January, with United now considering terminating his contract.

    Gary Neville spoke out on Ronaldo’s controversial interview earlier this week, saying: ‘I don’t think he wants a way back. I don’t think he would have done this interview if he wanted a way back.

    ‘He knew this would be one that would bring about the headlines it has and bring the end of his United career. From a club perspective, Ronaldo has said what he has said, he’s come out and criticised players at the club, Erik ten Hag, the owners, the board.

    ‘If you do that in any business, there is going to be no employment there for you in the future.

    Rooney says some of Ronaldo's comments were 'a bit strange'
    Rooney says some of Ronaldo’s comments were ‘a bit strange’ (Picture: Getty)

    ‘The reality of it is they know they need to terminate Cristiano’s contract otherwise it opens up a precedent so that any player can criticise the club in the future.

    ‘I agree with some of the things Cristiano has said, many Man Utd fans will agree too but the reality is if you’re an employee with a business and say these things, your employment has to terminate. United have no doubt got to do that in the next few days.’

    Neville added: ‘I have called for many, many years for footballers to be open, be independent thinking and come out and speak their mind and not be micromanaged to within an inch of their lives by PR teams.

    ‘I can’t think that has happened here, he has done this off his own back with his own strength of personality. I think there was probably a different way of doing it, I think that is maybe from the club’s side and Cristiano’s side.

    ‘[After the Chelsea game] I urged Manchester United and Cristiano to come together that week because it was obvious that relationship was failing and navigate a pathway to January or the World Cup whereby they create a truce.

    ‘I’m disappointed that the meeting doesn’t seem to have happened. We have ended up in this quite unsavoury situation whereby it looks like Cristiano is going to end this period of his reign not as great.’

    MORE : Liverpool’s Fabinho taunts Casemiro and Antony for joining Man Utd

    MORE : Cristiano Ronaldo reveals who he wants to win the Premier League

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