While it may be stating the obvious at this point, it still needs to be said:
Manchester United are better off without Cristiano Ronaldo.
His outburst interview with Piers Morgan was a selfish and cowardly move to further excuse himself of any responsibility in the remarkable collapse that occurred last season, as well as wield random, childish insults at peers and pundits. His actions are weird, and possibly desperate as he faces the most criticism from fans and media as he ever has in his career (which is alarming considering he’s faced two separate allegations of rape). The interview has at the least done little to change that, and instead opened up a whole new can of discourse about his attitude and behavior.
It shows little regard for how others view him, which probably isn’t the best idea for someone looking for a new team, but at least he won’t have to worry about United crawling over glass to keep him.
What his actions show more than anything however is that he knows this is the end at Manchester United, and for many that is sad. He was great in his first stint with the team, winning a Ballon D’or in a memorable 2008 campaign that saw them win the Champions League.
Unless he has a ridiculous World Cup performance in him there is serious doubt whether other top clubs will be interested in coming for him in January. He may have to settle for a wage cut at a smaller club, or move to a league that relies on money to bring in former star players near the end of their careers. However, being cut by the club for breach of contract seems to be on the table, and doing so would allow Ronaldo to sign with whoever he wants. Maybe clubs are interested who didn’t want to pay any fee, maybe not, who knows. All that matters is it is in Manchester United’s best interest to remove him from the team.
The club certainly bear responsibility in the situation, as they should have known what they were doing when they jumped at the chance to re-sign him on August 27, 2021. They should have known better, and fans should have known better despite their nostalgia juices overflowing.
(This is the part where we say “I told you so,” sorry)
Cristiano Ronaldo does not offer what this team needs, and signing a player just because City wants them is a stupid move that has not worked for us in the past. #MUFC— The Busby Babe (@TheBusbyBabe) August 27, 2021
If Ronaldo wants to ruin his United legacy by going to City that’s his decision. United abandoning the chance to sign a midfielder to actually help, just to buy into this dumb bid war, is detrimental to this team’s ambitions. The Glazers want to buy your loyalty, not success.— The Busby Babe (@TheBusbyBabe) August 27, 2021
It was a bad idea at the time. Even with the assumption he guaranteed goals, he was slowing up and would certainly make everything about himself.
Guess what happened: He’s been part some of the most dreadful post-Sir Alex Ferguson performances this club has had. In some ways his performances reflect his childish attitude. He’s reckless, selfish, and he’s confirmed that he has zero respect for the managers and how they try to use him on the pitch.
The move also came just months after the ill-fated attempt by the Glazers to found a European Super League, and while protests against them didn’t diminish they certainly lost effectiveness as fans continued unconditionally supporting their man-child pander signing.
However, something Ronaldo may not have calculated properly, or simply didn’t think to consider, is that his interview has actually alienated many who were on his side. Not just the Glazers and executives who saw him as a marketing asset as well as star player, but the fans who have continued to sing his name in the stands whether he plays or not, and whether he plays well or not. Those fans cherish the idea of the club as something bigger than any individual, and they cherish their legends. Ronaldo insulted the manager, the club and former United greats in his pathetic interview, and his childish behavior exposed him in a light that many fans didn’t see before, and the result is sourness at least, if not anger.
One such legend is Wayne Rooney. He’s already the subject of tasteless body-shaming posts in comparison to Ronaldo, and the latter took that and ran with it in his interview by claiming he’s jealous of him. He even went so far as to call him and others who have criticized his performances “rats,” suggesting they’re jealous of how rich he is.
It’s worth mentioning too, that the term “Narcissism” is of course derived from the self-obsessed Narcissus from Greek Mythology. The story is of Narcissus’ obsession with his own physical form to the point that he only falls in love with his own reflection.
So, you know, extra applicable here.
This is the kind of gross person who the club and fans have continued to make excuses for, but not anymore. There’s every indication he’s played his last match for the club (again), and the disrespect he’s shown the manager and the club certainly overshadows any perceived value he still has as a footballer. Add in his absurd wages and he is both literally and figuratively not worth the headache.
According to reports from Chris Wheeler, the club are looking into sacking Ronaldo for breach of contract.
Cristiano Ronaldo will effectively be sacked by #mufc for breach of contract. He is set to lose £16m in wages. United have decided there is no way, and his teammates are said to be ambivalent towards him [@ChrisWheelerDM]— utdreport (@utdreport) November 18, 2022
This comes following another vague statement from United on Friday, stating:
“Manchester United has this morning initiated appropriate steps in response to Cristiano Ronaldo’s recent media interview. We will not be making further comment until this process reaches its conclusion.” - Club statement
This is the correct move. It allows for a clean break and for the club to deservedly move on without any further distraction. Cutting ties now won’t fix the mistake they made, but it will prevent any further drama in a season where a first-year manager needs togetherness in his squad.