Cristiano Ronaldo has accused Gary Neville of using his name to boost his TV profile and declared he and Wayne Rooney are ‘not my friends’.
More revelations have come out from the Portugual superstar’s bombshell interview with Piers Morgan for TalkTV, with Ronaldo now turning his ire towards his old Manchester United teammates.
The first clips were released on Sunday night where he said he felt ‘disrespected’ and ‘betrayed’ by Man United, taking aim at manager Erik ten Hag and the club’s hierarchy.
Ahead of the full 90 minute exclusive interview with TalkTV being aired across Wednesday and Thursday, more exerts have been published.
This time it is Neville and Rooney who he has turned on as he responded to criticism from his former teammates over his behaviour at Old Trafford this season.
Ronaldo refused to come on as a substitute for United against Tottenham last month and was left out of the squad to play Chelsea.
That prompted Neville to say: “We know him, we love him but he can’t accept not being the star man. He’s going to have to leave, that’s it.”
Ronaldo subsequently blanked Neville – who he played alongside for seven years – live on Sky Sports at the end of October while warming up ahead of a game against West Ham.
Rooney, meanwhile, told talkSPORT last week Ronaldo risked becoming an unwanted distraction at the club and his behaviour was ‘unacceptable for Man United’.
Ronaldo was asked about those criticisms from two players he was close to, by Piers Morgan.
He said: “To listen as ex-colleagues or team-mates criticise you, when they only see one point of view. It’s easy.
“It’s easy to criticise, I don’t know if you have a job in television that they must criticise to be more famous. I really don’t understand it.
“It’s hard when you see people who was in the dressing room with you criticising that way.”
When asked if Neville had used his name to get attention, he responded: “I think they take advantage of that because they are not stupid.
“I’m the number one followed guy in the world. It’s not by coincidence.”
When asked if he counts Rooney and Neville among his pals, Ronaldo replied: “They are not my friends, they are colleagues.
“We play together, they’re not coming, we’re not ever having dinner together.”
Ronaldo admits Rooney’s recent comments on talkSPORT took him by surprise.
Rooney said: “I just think the things he has done from the start of the season, it is not acceptable for Manchester United. I’ve seen Roy Keane defending him. Roy wouldn’t accept that. Roy wouldn’t accept that at all.
“It is a distraction which Manchester United don’t need at the minute, trying to rebuild.
“For Cristiano, just get your head down and work and be ready to play when the manager needs you. If he does that, he will be an asset. If he doesn’t, it will become an unwanted distraction.”
On Rooney’s criticisms, Ronaldo said: “It was one year ago, or six months ago. We’re here in my house, he picked up his kids here and he invited (12-year-old son) Cristiano to go to his house to play football.
“I really don’t understand people like that. Or if they want to be on a cover of the paper in the news or they want new jobs or whatever.”
But while Rooney and Neville are off the Christmas card list, Ronaldo maintains he is still friends with two other United legends – Rio Ferdinand and Roy Keane.
Calling them ‘very good guys’, he added: “Not just because they speak good about me, but they was there in the dressing room.
“They are football players. They know how players think and behave.”
Watch ‘Piers Morgan Uncensored: 90 Minutes with Ronaldo’, 8pm on Wednesday and Thursday on TalkTV. Find TalkTV on Sky 526, Virgin Media 606, Freeview 237, Freesat 217 and Sky Glass 508, live and on demand on the TalkTV app, streaming services and at Talk.TV.
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