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Cristiano Ronaldo interview: Man United’s CR7 sends sharp message to teammates and club

In one of the most candid interviews of recent years, Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo has made it clear that he wants to see improvements at a club he says are underperforming.

Ronaldo sat for more than 20 minutes for a video interview widely distributed to Premier League rights holders around the world. He didn’t mince his words about the current state of the club, which is in seventh place and 22 points behind first place.

“Manchester belongs to the big things. We have to change that. I don’t want to be here at the club to fight for sixth or seventh or fifth place. I’m here to try to win, to compete, and I think we compete, but we’re not at our best yet. But we have a long way to go to improve and I think if we change our mind we can achieve great things.

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“I believe you have a few things we need to change,” Ronaldo said later in the interview. “We have a long way to go to improve. But I think. New year, and we have to believe that things will change for a better place.

These words will not dispel rumors that he wants to leave the club. But Ronaldo, when asked what specifically needed to change, was hesitant to speak up. It was obvious he had an opinion, but kept it to himself.

“I’m not the right person (to say) that we have to change this or that,” said Ronaldo, who has 16 goals at the team’s lead. “Let’s be honest, the last five, six games do you think Manchester (United) played really well? No, you know that. Everyone knows that.

“We have to be positive to try to change things, to play the way Manchester United fans want it and the club’s history. That’s why we’re not going to give up. The only (those who) give up are the guys. who are mentally weak.

“I am a player, I am not a coach. I am not the president. I know the way, but as you know I’m not going to mention it here because I think it’s not (ethical) of me to say that. What I can say and something that we have under our control is that we can do it better. All of us: collective, individual, everyone.

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Ronaldo questions mentality of Man United players

Ronaldo went out of his way to side with players who he said needed to raise their level of play for the club to take a step forward. But it’s also clear from the interview that he doesn’t think there are any teammates receptive to this message.

He spoke about his experience as a young player and how the advice of his older teammates has driven him to succeed. He doesn’t see a similar response from players on his current squad.

“I remember when I was 18, 19, 20, some former players talk to me, but I said, ‘Cristiano, you have to improve yourself’… but other people don’t accept that if you ( the) criticism (them), “he said. “Sometimes when you’re a little harder they do the opposite. You have to find the right balance in speaking with them.

“But in my opinion, it should come from inside you. You should be proud of yourself and look at yourself in the mirror and say “Look, I gave it my all.” And I think we should all do it. Because (it’s a) new year, we’re changing the page. We have a lot to gain and we have to believe in it, otherwise it will be a nightmare.

“If I give you advice and even if you are younger than me and you don’t (implement) this in your daily life, it will be difficult. You can talk to this person all day. If (it) does not come from inside you, it is impossible.

Ronaldo continued to insist on the need for players to be self-sufficient and push themselves to reach the next level. He believes it’s that individual mentality that will ultimately translate into the success of the team.

“For me, the most important thing is the mentality. In order for you to be professional, help the team, the right mindset, self-thinking, the positive. I think all the details are up to you, not the coaches, the fans, the press. It depends on you. If you are proud of yourself and have some dignity, I think you need to do a lot more. And it starts with me.

“We’re here to help. If and when they (other younger players) need my help, support and guidance, I’ll be No.1 to help,” Ronaldo continued. you don’t want my help, so do your job, find out for yourself, and do your best to help the team. “

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Cristiano Ronaldo interview: Man United's CR7 sends sharp message to teammates and club
(Getty Images)

Ronaldo sets 2022 expectations for Man United

Ronaldo missed the recent FA Cup victory with “a bit of pain” but said he was confident he would be available for the next game on Saturday at Aston Villa.

Manchester United have reached the round of 16 in the FA Cup, are in the round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League and are six points behind fourth place in the table, which would secure a place in the prestigious Champions League of the next season.

There are 19 Premier League games left – and additional cup matches, depending on the progress of the Red Devils in both competitions. Ronaldo clarified the goals for the remaining four months of the season:

“Right now. I hope to win a title, qualify for the Champions League (round of 16) and be at least, as we are now, in the top four (in the Premier League).

The goal, however, is ultimately to return to a level playing field with the elite of the Premier League and the Champions League, namely the other three English clubs who have all reached the Champions League final once in the past. last three years and are currently occupying the top three places in the EPL.

“To win the league, it’s a marathon. It’s not a 100-meter sprint. You have to be consistent. This is why the best England team are probably Manchester City and Liverpool and Chelsea as they are more consistent than the other teams.

“But we have to look at this (the best teams) and believe that we are able to do it the same way. We know it’s difficult and we have to improve. But I believe. Some things have to change, but I believe “We have the potential here. So we have to do the right things. That’s the only way to be at that level of the teams that I mentioned before.”

“As I told you and I will say it again, some things need to change.”

What Cristiano thinks of new manager Rangnick

As for the change, Ronaldo says new coach Ralf Rangnick has introduced a lot.

Although Ronaldo obviously did not identify Rangnick by name in the interview, he says the German manager needs more time. And the Portuguese legend is hoping that by the time the Champions League round of 16 series against Atletico Madrid kicks off on February 23, the Red Devils will be further along their improvement curve.

“He (Rangnick) arrived here five weeks ago. He changed a lot of things. But he needs time to get his ideas across to the players and onto the pitch as well. It takes time. But I think he’s going to do a good job, “Ronaldo said.

“He needs time. It’s not that easy to change the mindset of the players and the way they play, the system and the culture (just) like that. So I think he’s going to do a good job.

What came out clearly was that Ronaldo loves Manchester United – where he became a global icon between 2003-2009 – his tradition and everything it stands for. And it is obvious that he is saddened by the period he lasts. He is desperate to be successful for himself and for a club he believes deserve it and more.

“I think that in order to build good things, sometimes you have to destroy a few things. So why not? New year, new life, and I hope Manchester can be the level that people want, especially the fans. They deserve this.

“Manchester United should win the championship or be second or third. To be fair, I don’t see any other (table) positions for Manchester United. In my eyes, I don’t accept that our mentality is inferior to being in the top three in the Premier League in my opinion.

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