Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed his dramatic Manchester United exit has been a huge part of his ‘growth’ as a person.
The Red Devils legend had his contract at Old Trafford mutually terminated in November following his explosive interview with Piers Morgan which saw him fire a number of criticisms at the club and its personnel, past and present.
Despite being the club’s top scorer last campaign with a tally of 24 in all competitions, Ronaldo found himself unable to get regular minutes under Erik ten Hag, who took charge last summer.
Left on the bench and becoming increasingly frustrated, Ronaldo’s interview marked the final straw for the club.
This left the then-37-year-old a free agent for the 2022 World Cup as he helped Portugal reach the quarter-finals, before he then shocked the footballing world by signing for Saudi side Al Nassr.
Signing until June 2025 on a £177million deal, Ronaldo has netted nine times in ten appearances for his new club who held a huge unveiling upon his arrival as he left his Man United woes behind.
But rather than ignoring what happened in the first half of this season, Ronaldo has now admitted he’s fully accepted and learnt from the ‘bad phase’ of his career.
“I have no problem saying I had a bad phase of my career, but there’s no time for regrets,” he told a press conference ahead of Portugal’s Euro 2024 qualifier against Liechtenstein.
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“Life goes on and, doing well or not, it was part of my growth. When we are at the top of the mountain, we often cannot see what is below.
“Now, I’m more prepared and learning that was important, because I had never been through this, like in the last few months. Now I’m a better man.”
To say it was somewhat of a surprise that Ronaldo ditched football in Europe for the first time in his career in the January window would be an understatement.
In fact the 38-year-old himself agreed with TalkTV host Piers Morgan in his explosive interview that ended his second spell at Old Trafford that he’d only play in Saudi Arabia if he was motivated by money.
But Ronaldo insists he’s much happier now in the Middle East.
“It’s a different chapter for all of us. The energies are good, positive, that’s the most important thing,” he added.
“There’s fresh air now, different ideas and mentality.”
Since his departure, Man United secured their first piece of silverware since 2017, winning the Carabao Cup and are now looking to secure the FA Cup, as well as mark an improved Premier League campaign.
- Cristiano Ronaldo accepts ‘bad phase’ at Manchester United and says he’s ‘a better man’ after acrimonious exit from club
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