Dwight Yorke says Cristiano Ronaldo revealed his dissatisfaction with Manchester United during a 30-minute chat they had at the end of last season.
He explained that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner was “unhappy” at the club and had laid out demands for incoming manager Erik ten Hag, which you can only assume backfired.
In turn, Yorke says he wasn’t surprised by Ronaldo’s noisy exit. Not only did he slate the club, manager and his teammates – Ronaldo did all of that with the infamous Piers Morgan. It was another slap in the face for United fans.
Speaking to The National, Yorke said: “I don’t comments often on Manchester United because I’m still a global ambassador and have a fantastic relationship with the club. But what Cristiano has done, to me, is not a surprise.
“I had a one-to-one conversation with him before I came to Australia, when I went on a 10-day observation at Manchester United and had access behind the scenes. I was lucky that Ronaldo gave me 30 minutes of his time and we talked in depth.
“I knew that there was an individual there that wasn’t happy with whatever was going on at the club. He expressed that in a very open and honest way to me. He was clearly unhappy.”
Yorke added: “He [Ronaldo] felt that the club wasn’t progressing the way he wanted it to and he demanded certain things from the incoming manager.
“I felt that if that wasn’t to happen, then there was going to be something that we eventually saw happen. So when all of that came out, I knew it was already a ticking time bomb just ready to explode.”
It won’t come as a surprise to anyone that Ronaldo appeared miffed at the fact Harry Maguire kept the captain’s armband, despite losing his place in the team to new signing Lisandro Martinez. I can only imagine that it is something that he brought up with Yorke during the summer.
“I know that there was someone who is really passionate and really loves Manchester United, and wanted to take Manchester United back to the top. But he clearly felt that the only way he could help the club get anywhere near that, I think he needed to be the leader.
“And I think, with Harry Maguire not being fully in the fold, I felt that Ronaldo didn’t think that was the right call; that he felt he should have led. Being the top scorer [last season], he felt he didn’t get enough respect, because without him last year, United would have been nowhere near.
“I think he feels he doesn’t get enough credit, that there’s a lot of criticism coming his way; the way he went about things with the Piers Morgan interview and speaking openly about it.
“But I think he got to the point where he had enough. He saw that the club was not heading in the direction he wanted it to. He wanted to lead and wasn’t given that opportunity, so it just boiled over.”
I can’t help but wonder if Ronaldo is happy with the standards at Al-Nassr or in the Saudi Arabian league.