EPL

Records, discord with Rangnick and a feeling of betrayal - Cristiano Ronaldo's turbulent second spell at Man Utd

By Sports Desk November 14, 2022

The Cristiano Ronaldo saga at Manchester United took arguably its most shocking twist on Sunday with the release of an interview in which he said he feels "betrayed" by senior figures at the club.

Asked if he felt he was being forced out of Old Trafford, Ronaldo told Piers Morgan Uncensored: "Yes, not only by the coach, but by another two or three guys around the club that I felt betrayed me.

"I shouldn't say that [they were trying to get rid of me], I don't know, but yes, I feel betrayed. I felt that some people didn't want me here not only this year, but last year too."

Having made just four Premier League starts this season, Ronaldo's explosive comments would appear to push him closer to the exit door. 

How did it get to this point? Let's look back at Ronaldo's tumultuous second spell with the club with whom he made his name.

August 27, 2021: Having appeared destined to sign for Manchester City, United announce an agreement with Juventus to bring Ronaldo back to Old Trafford. On August 31, a two-year deal with an option for a third season is completed.

September 11, 2021His second debut sees Ronaldo face Newcastle United at home, and he marks it in style with a brace in a 4-1 win.

September 29, 2021: Champions League history for Ronaldo as he breaks the record for the most appearances (178) in the competition and fittingly scores a last-gasp winner as United beat Villarreal 2-1.

November 21, 2021: Ronaldo continued to score important goals for United in the Champions League, however, a 5-0 home defeat to Liverpool and a 2-0 loss to City piled the pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. After a 4-1 loss at Watford, the man who brought Ronaldo back to the club is sacked.

November 29, 2021: Ralf Rangnick is appointed as United's interim manager until the end of the season, with the club confirming he would stay on for two years in a consultancy role. 

Ronaldo said of Rangnick in Sunday's interview: "They bring in a sporting director Ralf Rangnick which is something nobody understands. This guy is not even a coach! A big club like Manchester United bringing in a sporting director surprised not only me but all the world."

December 2, 2021: In Michael Carrick's final game as caretaker before Rangnick officially took charge, Ronaldo scores twice in a 3-2 win over Arsenal, netting his 800th and 801st goals in his career for club and country.

February 15, 2022: A goal in a 2-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion ends the longest drought of Ronaldo's career, one that stretched back to a December 30 defeat of Burnley and lasted 588 minutes of football.

March 12, 2022: Having missed the Manchester derby because of a hamstring injury, Ronaldo scores a hat-trick on return in a 3-2 win over Tottenham. The treble takes him to 807 goals, past Josef Bican's all-time record of 805. However, the Czech Republic FA claims Bican actually scored 821.

April 16-23, 2022A hat-trick against Norwich City marks the 50th of Ronaldo's career, and he follows that up a week later with his 100th Premier League goal in a loss to Arsenal, an emotional game for the Portugal international having come days after he and his partner announced the death of their baby son.

April 21, 2022: Erik ten Hag is appointed as United's new manager from the 2022-23 season. On May 16, the Dutchman leaves his role at Ajax early to start preparations for his new job.

May 22, 2022: United's 2021-22 season ends with the Red Devils in sixth, seeing them have to settle for Europa League football. Ronaldo does not feature in their 1-0 loss at Crystal Palace that rounds off a campaign in which he scored 24 goals but never meshed with Rangnick and his style of football.

July 11, 2022Despite intense speculation around Ronaldo and agent Jorge Mendes trying to force a transfer away from United, Ten Hag insists Ronaldo is "not for sale".

July 31, 2022: Ronaldo leaves early during United’s pre-season friendly with Rayo Vallecano, along with some other team-mates. Ten Hag slams that decision as “not acceptable”.

October 2, 2022: Ronaldo is left on the bench in the 6-3 loss to City, a game United trailed 4-0 at half-time. Ten Hag claims the decision was down to “respect” for Ronaldo’s career.

October 19, 2022: Having refused to enter the game as a substitute, Ronaldo walks down the tunnel during United’s 2-0 win over Tottenham. He is suspended by the club three days later.

November 13, 2022: After being left out of United’s EFL Cup clash with Aston Villa with an apparent illness, Ronaldo is again absent from their squad for the final game before the World Cup break, a 2-1 win at Fulham. Later that day, his bombshell interview is released.

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