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Report: Cristiano Ronaldo Facing Legal Action, Manchester United Contract Termination

Adam WellsNovember 18, 2022

OEIRAS, PORTUGAL - NOVEMBER 15: Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal in action during the Portugal training session at Cidade do Futebol FPF on November 15, 2022 in Oeiras, Portugal.  (Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)
Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo's comments about Manchester United and manager Erik ten Hag could cost him in court.

Per ESPN's Rob Dawson, the club is seeking to terminate Ronaldo's contract and could sue him for breach of contract.

This comes after Manchester United announced it has "initiated appropriate steps" in the wake of Ronaldo's interview with Piers Morgan earlier this week.

Ronaldo told Morgan he felt "provoked" by Ten Hag because it's "not allowed" for a coach to put him in for three minutes when addressing why he walked off the field during an Oct. 19 match vs. Tottenham.

Piers Morgan Uncensored @PiersUncensored

Cristiano Ronaldo says he felt "provoked" by Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag and addresses leaving the ground during a preseason friendly.<br><br>Watch live: <a href="https://t.co/ajbahBvQpp">https://t.co/ajbahBvQpp</a><a href="https://twitter.com/Cristiano?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@cristiano</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/piersmorgan?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@piersmorgan</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/TalkTV?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TalkTV</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/90MinutesWithRonaldo?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#90MinutesWithRonaldo</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PMU?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#PMU</a> <a href="https://t.co/swWIvSXYsY">pic.twitter.com/swWIvSXYsY</a>

Manchester United announced Ronaldo was suspended for its Premier League match Oct. 22 against Chelsea.

Ronaldo took exception to the club's decision to suspend him for three days.

Piers Morgan Uncensored @PiersUncensored

"I'm not perfect... but suspend me for three days? <br><br>"For that, I think it's too much." <br><br>Ronaldo says he was "very disappointed" when he was suspended by Manchester United.<br><br>Watch live: <a href="https://t.co/ajbahBvQpp">https://t.co/ajbahBvQpp</a><a href="https://twitter.com/Cristiano?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@cristiano</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/piersmorgan?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@piersmorgan</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/90MinutesWithRonaldo?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#90MinutesWithRonaldo</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PMU?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#PMU</a> <a href="https://t.co/8hO5p9v4OC">pic.twitter.com/8hO5p9v4OC</a>

In the same interview (h/t Dawson), Ronaldo said he doesn't respect Ten Hag "because he doesn't show respect for me." He also said the club "tried to force me out."

"Not only the manager, but the other two or three guys who are around the club [at the senior executive level]," he explained. "I felt betrayed. I don't care, people should listen to the truth. Yes, I felt betrayed. I feel that some people didn't want me here, not only this year but last season too."

Ronaldo told Morgan the Red Devils have made "zero" progress since Sir Alex Ferguson retired as manager in 2013.

Dawson noted United has appointed lawyers to explore the possibility of suing Ronaldo for breach of contract.

Ronaldo has reportedly been wanting to leave Manchester United for some time. Fabrizio Romano of Sky Sport Italy reported in July the 37-year-old told the club he wanted to leave because "he wants to see more ambition."

Romano noted United was aware of Ronaldo's desire to leave but hoped to keep him.

Manchester United signed Ronaldo to a two-year contract, with an option for an additional year, in August 2021. He returned to the club after stints with Real Madrid and Juventus.

If the option year hasn't been triggered, his deal would expire in August 2023.

Ronaldo is set to play for Portugal in the 2022 World Cup. Its first match in group play will be against Ghana on Nov. 24.

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